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

CPAC’s Second-Class Gays

AP Photo/Susan Walsh
*/ Watching gay conservatives try to make their way in the GOP is like having a friend in an emotionally abusive relationship. Despite the victim's best attempts to placate the abuser, tensions mount until there's a big blowup. Your friend denounces the guy, packs their bags, and resolves to leave. But next you hear, suddenly everything's fine; the abuser has apologized—he's been under a lot of stress lately—and getting out was a bad idea anyway. At this week's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), gays and the GOP are in another one of their reconciliation phases. After raising hell for being knocked off the list of sponsors in 2011, the leadership of gay Republican group GOProud is back to keeping up appearances. "The relationship between GOProud and the American Conservative Union has been frayed in the past," says Ross Hemminger, the group's executive co-director. "Our big focus now is rebuilding the relationship." For those not familiar with the saga: When...

The Citizens United of the Culture Wars

Flickr/Mark FIscher
Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Heeding calls from gay-rights supporters, business groups, and Republicans like John McCain and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, on Wednesday Arizona governor Jan Brewer vetoed a "religious liberty" bill that would have allowed for-profit businesses to refuse service to gays and lesbians so long as they were motivated by "sincerely held religious belief.” A nearly identical law failed to advance in Kansas last week. Now, in light of the blowback, anti-gay discrimination bills in conservative legislatures—including Mississippi, Georgia, and Oklahoma— have stalled , and even lawmakers who voted for such measures are stepping back their support. The failure of these anti-gay discrimination bills amounts to a stern rebuke to the religious right, which sees defeat on the horizon in the gay-marriage fight. Just in the past two months, judges have overturned bans on same-sex marriage in Oklahoma, Virginia, Texas, and...

There's No Place Like Homophobic Kansas

AP Photo/Orlin Wagner
Count it as yet another thing wrong with Kansas, where schools teach kids Adam and Eve rode the dinosaurs and it's safer to be a gang member than an abortion provider . Last week, lawmakers in the state's Republican-controlled House of Representatives set off outrage across the country by passing a law that would not only make it legal for private businesses to discriminate against gays, lesbians, and transgender people; it would also permit state employees—long obliged by our legal tradition to serve all customers on equal terms—to deny LGBT people basic services as long as they are motivated by "sincerely held religious beliefs." Narrow exemptions for religious and religiously-affiliated institutions have increasingly become a standard part of gay-marriage bills as more and more states begin to enact equal marriage legislatively instead of in response to a court ruling. But the Kansas law goes far beyond such targeted exemptions by sanctioning anti-gay discrimination in...

The Devil's Immigration Glossary

The immigration debate has given rise to a host of new words and phrases: "self-deportation," "operational control," "Dreamers." The latest: "legal status," the enigmatic term Republicans have recently used to describe their approach to dealing with the population of unauthorized immigrants living in the country. (As opposed to "illegal status"?) Given its capacity to persuade and express power, all political language is fraught, of course. But this is especially true of the immigration debate, where fiercely held views have given rise to a tendentious lexicon rife with euphemism and loaded language. This is perhaps no surprise given the (dreamy) ideology behind the idea of citizenship, the lore of American self-improvement, and the conflation of immigration with national security since September 11. But it's made the immigration debate a bit impenetrable for the casual observer. Here's your guide to decoding it all. Alien : Immigrant-rights advocates have long objected to this term,...

The Mythical Monolith

Latinos have the power to revolutionize American politics. But first they have to vote.

AP Photo
#pitch_entry-unrelated, .longform-ad { display:none; } Ever since a wave of mass migration from Latin America began to transform the country’s demographic landscape in the 1970s, political analysts have spoken about the “sleeping giant” of the Latino vote. Every election season, like a spectator staring through binoculars on safari, someone jumps to exclaim that the beast is rousing, prompting others to claim that, yes, they spotted it, too. “The giant is awake,” Harry Pachon, then-head of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, told The Miami Herald in 1988, the same year The New York Times made much ado about the fact that both Michael Dukakis and George H.W. Bush spoke Spanish. “The symbolism,” the Times wrote, “has not been lost on members of the long-neglected but fast-growing Latino population, who feel they have finally come of age politically.” That year, 3.7 million Latinos gave Dukakis, the...