Independent Lens: Love Free or Die

Independent Lens: Love Free or Die

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 8:00pm

Pictured: Bishop Gene Robinson stands side by side with Mark Andrew

Credit: Courtesy of Gillian Laub

The film looks at church and state, love and marriage, faith and identity —and one man’s struggle to dispel the notion that God’s love has limits. Directed by Macky Alston, the Sundance Award-winning documentary Love Free or Die airs Monday, June 15, 2015 at 8 p.m. on WXXI World. Love Free or Die follows Gene Robinson, the first openly gay person to be elected bishop in the high church traditions of Christianity. His 2003 elevation ,in the Episcopal diocese of New Hampshire, ignited a worldwide firestorm in the Anglican Communion that has threatened schism. Even as he has pushed for greater inclusion within his own church, Bishop Robinson has become a standard bearer in the fight over the rights of LGBT people to receive full acceptance in church and state.

Director Alston’s camera follows Bishop Robinson as he steps onto the world stage, travelling from small-town churches to the Lincoln Memorial, where he delivers the invocation at Barack Obama’s inauguration; from London, where he is scorned and relegated to the fringes of a once-in-a-decade convocation of bishops to which he is deliberately not invited,to a decisive meeting in California of the Episcopal Church,where Robinson plays an instrumental role in establishing the full inclusion of LGBT people. Through it all, Robinson steadfastly calls for everyone to stand for equality —inspiring bishops, priests,and ordinary folk to come out from the shadows and change history.