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

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Breitbart

(Photo via Wikimedia Commons) Andrew Breitbart is well known for his role in scandals such as the resignation of Shirley Sherrod and the ACORN video controversy.
As someone who underwent ex-gay therapy for three years -- and not because I was "going undercover" as gay to fancy myself an investigative reporter -- I couldn't care less if a clinic owned by Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and her husband, Marcus, practices ex-gay therapy. I'm not saying I don't feel sorry for patients who've been subjected to it. But I just don't see why the fact that Bachmann's husband runs a Christian clinic where therapists try to convert gays is any sort of revelation. Given Bachmann's well-documented statements decrying homosexuality as a demonic mental disorder, this doesn't prove to any greater degree than Bachmann has already established that she holds extreme anti-gay views; her bigoted outbursts about gay people have been in plain view for years. That it took an entrapment scheme and the pretense of catching Bachmann's husband in a lie to bring attention to the pair's radicalism just confirms the degree to which even liberal journalism has...

Gay It Forward

The marriage game plan after New York

(AP Photo/Gail Burton) A couple protest outside the circuit courthouse during a hearing in a 2005 lawsuit challenging Maryland's ban on gay marriage.
In a single day last week, the number of Americans living in a state that allows gay marriage doubled. But, beside the New York vote's tangible effect on 20 million state residents, the win is also a potent symbolic victory that has reinvigorated the movement nearly two years after its last wins in New Hampshire and Washington, D.C. It's a watershed. "New York is one of the iconic American states, so it has national and international implications," says Mark Solomon, campaign director for New York-based Freedom to Marry, the largest national organization dedicated to fighting for marriage equality. "We've heard from all over the world on how this is pushing things forward." The benefits, gay-rights advocates say, redound on a number of fronts: The New York win is likely to accelerate the rate at which public opinion shifts in favor of same-sex unions and sends a signal to legislators and judges that supporting gay marriage is politically palatable. With the inevitable rush of news...

A More Civil Union

Gay marriage passes in New York (finally).

(AP Photo/Louis Lanzano) Revelers celebrate in front of the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan's West Village following the passage of a same-sex marriage bill in New York.
Same-sex marriage is legal in New York now, and it's about damn time. For five days, the Republican-controlled Senate debated and amended the same-sex-marriage bill to include stronger exemptions for religious groups; the negotiations kept legislators in Albany past the summer-recess deadline and into the night yesterday. At around 10:30, all but one member of the Democratic caucus, state Sen. Ruben Diaz, and four Republicans joined the majority to pass the bill by 33-to-29. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the law shortly before midnight, setting off jubilant celebrations in Manhattan's gay neighborhoods. To denizens of liberal New York City -- the home of Stonewall, the birthplace of the gay-rights movement; and Act Up -- yesterday's vote marked the end of what had become an embarrassment. The state is the sixth to allow gay marriage (The District of Columbia also allows it). It's been eight years since the Massachusetts Supreme Court found that gay people deserved equal protection of the...

Cheesy Does It

How Glee became the most beloved show on television

The Glee cast (Flickr/Gudlyf)
Musical theater is as close as it comes to religion for me, so you can consider Glee 's 8-to-9 Tuesday slot on Fox my "Hour of Power." Like a missionary outpost in D.C.'s cultural desert, each week a local gay bar screens the latest episode on a large projector. For that short span of time, the club music and cruising stop while patrons from their 20s to their 60s sit in reverent silence to watch the high-school travails of McKinley High's glee club. If you ask me, any show that can hold a club queen's attention for that long deserves its title as "the gayest show on television." Glee , which wrapped up its second season yesterday, has already become so mainstream and commercial that critics are nostalgic for the good ol' days. The Globe and Mail 's John Doyle proclaimed a year ago that "the gaiety is gone from Glee . ... You should have seen it in its prime." Of course, the line between cheesy and sublime is a fine one, and if your high-school experience doesn't incline you to...

Why Immigration Reform Is Going Nowhere

Obama needs to treat immigration as more than just a national-security issue.

Border Patrol agent Albert Deleon checks the banks of the Rio Grande in 2007. (AP Photo/LM Otero, file)
Earlier this week, the president met with several high-ranking administration officials and supporters of immigration reform, including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, to discuss possible ways of moving forward with "comprehensive immigration reform" -- the euphemistic plan to trade tougher enforcement for much-needed improvements to immigration law. The meeting comes on the heels of a recent tour by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano highlighting improvements in border security and assailing Republican critics who depict the Southern border as a war zone. "We can't keep moving the goal post and saying, when the border is safe we will get to [immigration reform]," Napolitano said at a recent talk. "Enough is enough. ... Damaging information about border communities has been repeated often enough." But if the immediate reaction to the renewed immigration push is any indication, the debate is headed nowhere new. In...