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

Prop. 8 Decision Won't Necessarily Be a Slam Dunk.

Today, everyone's waiting for Judge Vaughn Walker to hand down his decision in the Prop. 8 case -- the federal challenge to California's gay-marriage ban. Conventional wisdom is that he'll overturn the ban. However, Walker's ruling won't necessarily be a slam dunk for gay rights. The judge is bound by precedent and his decision needs to withstand the appeal process. Basically, there are three major questions Walker has to answer: 1. Do gays qualify as a protected minority? 2. Is there a good enough reason to restrict marriage to just straight people? 3. Is marriage -- in particular, same-sex marriage -- a fundamental right? Ruling in favor of same-sex-marriage proponents on any one of these motions will likely lead Walker to overturn Prop. 8; he needn't find in favor of Boies and Olson on all of them. The least controversial thing he could do would be to rule that there is no good reason to restrict marriage to straight people (no. 2). This is what happened in another gay-rights case...

Tuesday Twitter Talk: Talking Food.

*/ @MonicaBPotts Pimento cheese is the worst thing to come out of the South @shani_o Pretty sure sweet tea is, actually @jbouie @shani_o Wow, you take that back! @phoebedoris @jbouie @shani_o I'm with Shani on this one ... @shani_o I'm sorry people, when something is so sweet your jaws clench and your heart starts racing, it's a problem. #downwithsweettea

Does "D.C." Need Another Nickname?

The Washington Post has a story lamenting D.C.'s lack of a cool nickname and announcing one that's catching on: DMV, an acronym for the "District," Maryland, and Virginia, the city and suburbs that make up the metropolitan area. This of course is already an acronym for the Department of Motor Vehicles, which you can either decry as unfortunate -- or "painful" or "ugly" -- or apt. Who doesn't remember the distinct air of DMV ennui? Perhaps the implicit comparison to one of the country's most hated and inept bureaucracies expresses how people feel about government, but for PR's sake, D.C. residents should hope the Post is just inventing a trend, as newspapers tend to do, when it says DMV is "picking up speed." Plus, doesn't D.C. already have a decent nickname -- the "Beltway"? -- Gabriel Arana

In SB 1070 Ruling, a Minor Win for Obama.

Today, Judge Susan Bolton stopped [PDF] the most controversial provisions of Arizona's immigration-enforcement law, SB 1070, from going into effect but declined to put the entire law on hold as the Obama Justice Department had requested. In a 38-page ruling, Judge Bolton let stand most of the law's 13 sections but found that certain provisions satisfied the requirements for a preliminary injunction -- irreparable harm and likelihood of success at trial. The Justice Department had argued that the Arizona law unconstitutionally usurped federal power to regulate immigration. The judge put the following provisions on hold: Portion of Section 2 of S.B. 1070 -- requiring that an officer make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of a person stopped, detained, or arrested if there is a reasonable suspicion that the person is unlawfully present in the United States, and requiring verification of the immigration status of any person arrested prior to releasing that person In...

Send 10,000 National Guardsmen to Disneyland Instead.

Edward Schumacher-Matos has an op-ed in The Washington Post blaming the "extremists" who run the immigration debate for the deaths of illegal immigrants in the Arizona desert: [Border-enforcement proponents have] the louder voice today, making [them] the bigger culprit, but the latter -- humanitarian groups, for one -- share in the blame. They seem not to find any enforcement policy they like, abandoning responsibility. I assume Schumacher is including people like me in this critique, whom he characterizes as opposing "any enforcement policy" and thus "abandon[ing] responsibility." There is a meme among self-proclaimed reasonable "centrists" like Schumacher -- and that's that there's a pressing need to "secure our borders" and that those who care about immigrants, and think unmanned military drones along the border are unnecessary, are letting their hearts run their mind. Of course it's not that anyone in the immigrant-rights movement opposes any enforcement; it's that, as I and many...