Gabriel Arana

Gabriel Arana is a senior editor at The American Prospect. His articles on gay rights, immigration, and media have appeared in publications including The New Republic, The Nation, Salon, The Advocate, and The Daily Beast.

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Recent Articles

Can We Get Some More Savinos Up in Here?

New York State Sen. Diane Savino first made a name for herself as a labor activist for the SSEU. She's been a staunch defender of workers' rights, helping raise the state's minimum wage for the first time in a decade and passing the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. But since the failed gay marriage vote in New York, she is getting considerable attention nationwide for her impassioned speech before the vote: What surprised me about the debate that preceded the vote was that few of the anti-marriage advocates went up to speak. Sen. Ruben Diaz of course encouraged everyone to (figuratively) bring their Bible into the chamber, but the only thing you heard from the rest of the "anti" folks were dispiriting no's during the roll call. There is something sort of fitting about their silence; it seemed to underscore how shameful the vote was. As I've ruminated over the vote these past few days, I've become increasingly annoyed with the "look how far we've come" consolation prize, which most...

Gay on Trial

After state-level defeats, lawyers are taking the case for gay rights to federal court.

Kathy Stickel at a gay-rights supporter rally the day before election day in Portland, Maine, on Monday, Nov. 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Pat Wellenbach)
O n Nov. 4, 2008, when the polls closed on the West Coast and media outlets reported that California voters had passed Proposition 8, gay-rights supporters across the country were stunned. How could the purported gay haven of California —home to Hollywood, Harvey Milk, and the Castro—have rejected same-sex marriage? It was an odd cultural moment, infused with the countervailing energy and promise of Barack Obama's victory. While progressives across the country danced in the streets chanting, "Yes We Can," angry gay-rights supporters gathered on the steps of the state Capitol in Sacramento carrying signs that expressed their indignation: "No More Mr. Nice Gay." As Obama declared in his victory speech, the ground had shifted, but in the Golden State, it had moved in opposite directions. After months of scapegoating, soul-searching, and regrouping, gay-rights leaders settled on a two-part strategy: Fight the measure in state court and work on overturning it at the ballot box in 2010 or...

Leave Your Baby, or Go to Jail.

In a story that's provoked justified outrage, the Army has threatened single military mom Spc. Alexis Hutchinson with a military court marshal for refusing leave her 10-month-old and ship off to Afghanistan when none of her family members could care for the child. In a compassionate display of flexibility, her superiors offered her the alternative of putting the child in foster care. The whole episode seems to be a the result of military keeping an inadequate and inconsistent family policy. The Army requires single parents to have a "family plan" in case they are deployed, but if yours falls through, you're out of luck. Why isn't there a backup plan? Hutchinson -- a chef -- could serve on the base for a certain period until she finds an adequate solution. Worse comes to worse, she could receive an "administrative discharge." Whatever the details of the arrangement are, the default choice should not be to put your child in foster care or face criminal charges. Hutchison also wouldn't...

Largest Publisher of Gay Newspapers Shuts Down.

Window Media, the nation's largest owner of gay newspapers, shut its doors today bringing D.C.'s local gay newspaper The Washington Blade as well as four others down with it. The Washington Blade , you could say, was the New York Times of LGBT news. It was the second-largest gay newspaper by circulation (beside Gay City News ) and covered national issues as well as local D.C. politics. It was widely recognized for its reporting on the AIDS crisis and the marriage fight and has served as a bulletin board for local events, including political rallies. Most obviously, gay D.C. residents will be less informed about issues that affect them without the Blade -- and less likely to be drawn to activism, which is no small blow for groups that are already underrepresented in politics anyway. I regularly wrote for the New York Blade , its sister publication, until it shuttered its operations in July. Whenever I had an idea I thought would be too "gay" for mainstream media, or when I wanted to...

Lou Dobbjectivity.

Lou Dobbs ' abrupt departure from CNN seems to be the product of ongoing wrangling between the anchor and network executives, who gave him the choice of either making his show more "objective" or resigning. CNN had been under increasing pressure from immigrants' rights groups to fire the news anchor: His histrionics in the last few years have included blaming immigrants for 7,000 cases of leprosy in 2007 and joining certifiable crazy Orly Taitz in demanding Obama turn over his real birth certificate even as CNN repeatedly debunked the birther myth. CNN's demand that Dobbs tone it down seems to be part of an effort to hold firm against the editorialization of the news that happens at networks like Fox and MSNBC. But I'm not sure that purging the loudest scaremongers will necessarily guarantee CNN objective coverage -- this might be a futile endeavor on their part. Sure, a story can strike a tone that isn't alarmist, but any journalist can tell you that the types of stories an outlet...