Tuesday, June 22, 2010

CNN Kicks Off Gay In America Series

CNN Press Release: Soledad O’Brien Tells the Story of a Gay Couple’s Journey to Have a Baby. Documentary Kicks off Gay in America Series with a Lens on Surrogacy

Building upon the success of Black in America and Latino in America, CNN anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien will cover another underreported story, one of two gay men who want nothing more than what they each had growing up - a traditional family - and a child of their own. O’Brien reports a revealing one-hour CNN documentary that follows Gary Spino and Tony Brown on their struggle to have a baby that has a biological and legal connection to both of them via an egg donor and a surrogate. Gary and Tony Have a Baby premieres on CNN on Thursday, June 24 at 8pm ET & PT and on CNN International on Saturday, June 26 at 8am ET.

Both growing up in small towns and subject to considerable ridicule and harassment for being gay, Gary and Tony found love in New York City and have chosen to fight for gay equality for the rest of their lives. Together for years, Gary and Tony took the next step and married in Canada where same-sex marriage is legal nationwide, unlike in the United States where their marriage is not recognized.

After their marriage, they wanted what many Americans have - a family of their own - however the steep costs associated with surrogacy and an egg donor can be restrictive for any couple, including Gary and Tony. It was not until one of their neighbors left them an inheritance that they were able to start the family they always desired. O'Brien uncovers their ensuing social, political and legal challenges they faced on their journey to have a baby.

Said O’Brien, "The journey of Gary and Tony Have a Baby is a compelling story of a dream fulfilled that is unknown to much of America. Unlike most heterosexual couples who are able to have their own biological children, this gay couple faces remarkable challenges and overcomes immense obstacles to have their own baby."

CNN.com has launched a digital extension exclusively for CNN’s In America documentaries. Under the Gay in America tab, additional reporting on LGBT issues, CNN iReport submissions on topics including gay adoption, surrogacy and marriage – as well as opinion editorials submitted by guest contributors including gay Iraq veteran Lt. Dan Choi can be found at www.cnn.com/gayinamerica. In addition, CNN Student News has produced an online curriculum guide.

Complementing an ongoing commitment to provide multi-platform experiences for major programming initiatives, CNN launched a mobile website destination for In America. Users will now be able to watch a video preview of the Gary and Tony Have a Baby and submit an iReport on the topic of gay parenting.

Geraldine Moriba is the executive producer for CNN’s In America unit, which includes Gary and Tony Have a Baby; Rose Arce and Elise Zeiger are the senior producers for this documentary. CNN’s In America is also reporting other stories about gay Americans, including a member of a Baptist Congregation in WashingtonDC who sued her church for beginning to perform same sex unions and lesbian teenage girls in Mississippi who struggle for acceptance.

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