CNN Promotes Gay Couple Fleeing Louisiana for New York

News & Politics

From Friday to Saturday, CNN anchors did their part to provide PR for liberals trying to undermine laws limiting the teaching of controversial sex issues without the permission of parents as correspondent Meg Tirrell filed a full report focusing on a gay doctor who planned to flee Louisiana and move to New York.

The CNN anchors were so thrilled with the story. After it first ran on Friday morning, they repeated it twice more on Friday afternoon and the Saturday edition of CNN This Morning even re-ran the piece about 24 hours after it first aired.

On Friday morning, fill-in co-host Audie Cornish set up the piece by using the preferred liberal terminology to tag conservative reforms as “don’t say gay” laws:

Since 2021, lawmakers in more than 20 states have introduced or passed bills similar to the so-called “don’t say gay” law in Florida. That’s according to Education Week. Now, the controversial proposals and laws aimed to prevent teachers from talking about certain topics, such as sexual orientation or gender identity. Louisiana has its own version of the bill, and now a prominent doctor there says it’s the reason he is taking his family and leaving the state.

The story focused on a gay married couple living in New Orleans — Jake and Tom Kleinmahon — who were planning to leave New Orleans in response to a new law.

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The report began:

TIRRELL: When Jake and Tom Kleinmahon moved back to New Orleans — the city where they met and fell in love — they planned to raise their two kids and retire here.

TOM KLEINMAHON: We built this house honestly to live here forever.

TIRRELL: A pediatric cardiologist, Jake returned to be medical director of the pediatric heart transplant program at Ochsner Health — the only program like it in Louisiana.

After a clip of Dr. Kleinmahon recalling that without him, some children would have to be sent to another state for treatment, Tirrell continued: “But now, Jake and his family are leaving the state after a set of bills passed the legislature this summer that they say make them feel unwelcome.”

The piece then used more soundbites of Dr. Kleinmahon complaining about a so-called “don’t say gay” law passed in his state:

Dr. JAKE KLEINMAHON: The part that really solidified it for us was when we were watching the Senate Education Committee here about the “don’t say gay” bill. … To think that if our kids went to public school and they were made fun of because they have two dads, a teacher would not have been able to step in and make a learning experience about different types of families.

After noting that there would just be two such children’s heart transplant specialists left in the state, Tirrell concluded: “The Kleinmahons are moving to Long Island, New York, where Jake will start a heart transplant program, and the whole family will start a new life.”

Fill-in anchors Alex Marquardt and Omar Jimenez — on Friday afternoon and on Saturday morning, respectively — made sure to call the Republican proposals “controversial” but not the issue of teaching children about homosexuality. And Jake Tapper also presented it for his “Health Lead” segment.

This episode of CNN This Morning was sponsored in part by Subway. Their contact information is linked.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

CNN This Morning
September 1, 2023
6:30 a.m. Eastern

AUDIE CORNISH, FILL-IN CO-HOST: Since 2021, lawmakers in more than 20 states have introduced or passed bills similar to the so-called “don’t say gay” law in Florida. That’s according to Education Week. Now, the controversial proposals and laws aimed to prevent teachers from talking about certain topics, such as sexual orientation or gender identity. Louisiana has its own version of the bill, and now a prominent doctor there says it’s the reason he is taking his family and leaving the state. CNN medical correspondent Meg Tirrell reports from New Orleans.

TOM KLEINMAHON, HUSBAND OF Dr. JAKE KLEINMAHON: Yeah, I mean, this is what we call our “wall of love.”

MEG TIRRELL: When Jake and Tom Kleinmahon moved back to New Orleans — the city where they met and fell in love — they planned to raise their two kids and retire here.

TOM KLEINMAHON: We built this house honestly to live here forever.

TIRRELL: A pediatric cardiologist, Jake returned to be medical director of the pediatric heart transplant program at Ochsner Health — the only program like it in Louisiana.

TIRRELL: What do you love about being here?

Dr. JAKE KLEINMAHON, PEDIAC CARDIOLOGIST: I feel like I really make a difference here, and, before I came, any complex patients were having to be sent out of state for heart transplants. And I felt like the kids of Louisiana deserve to stay in Louisiana.

TIRRELL: But now, Jake and his family are leaving the state after a set of bills passed the legislature this summer that they say make them feel unwelcome.

Dr. JAKE KLEINMAHON: The part that really solidified it for us was when we were watching the Senate Education Committee here about the “don’t say gay” bill.

STATE REP. DODIE HORTON (R-LA): HB466 prohibits teacher-led discussions on sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-12.

Dr. JAKE KLEINMAHON: To think that if our kids went to public school and they were made fun of because they have two dads, a teacher would not have been able to step in and make a learning experience about different types of families.

TIRRELL: HB466 and another bill which sought to require permission from parents for school employees to use certain names or pronouns for students were vetoed by Louisiana’s governor in June. In a third bill banning gender-affirming medical care for most minors overcame the governor’s veto and is expected to take effect in January.

Dr. JAKE KLEINMAHON: I’m really sad to leave, but I feel like I don’t really have a choice. But the way that the political landscape in Louisiana is going, it’s pretty clear that these laws are going to pass eventually.

TIRRELL: Jake’s departure doesn’t just mean there’s one fewer specialist like him here in New Orleans. He says it leaves just two heart transplant cardiologists for kids for the whole state of Louisiana.

Dr. JAKE KLEINMAHON: KLEINMAHON: There is going to be a hole that’s left when I leave.

TIRRELL: How much is that weighing on you?

Dr. JAKE KLEINMAHON: By far, the hardest part of this decision was thinking about my patients.

TIRRELL: The Kleinmahons are moving to Long Island, New York, where Jake will start a heart transplant program, and the whole family will start a new life.

Dr. JAKE KLEINMAHON: We teach our own children about kindness, about celebrating differences, and we hope that they recognize this as us doing something so that they can live in an area where they can be free — they can be kind — they can celebrate our differences — our different type of family.

TIRRELL: Meg Tirrell, CNN News Orleans.

(…)

CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper
5:52 p.m. Eastern

JAKE TAPPER: In our “Health Lead,” right now there are LGBTQ parents in the United States trying to figure out how their kids could talk about their home lives at school. Because multiple states are considering or passing laws to ban any official instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation. Louisiana, in the southern United States, is one of those states. CNN met a family there who is concerned enough to leave. The problem with this family is one of the dads is a doctor with a desperately needed specialty — a medical specialty — that Louisianans need. CNN’s Meg Tirrell wrote to him about uprooting his family.

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