Published on Oct 23, 2012
Watch the full-length episode at http://video.pbs.org/video/2258514990
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In this excerpt from the Independent Lens documentary, Love Free or Die, Bishop Gene Robinson is interrupted mid-sermon by a man who denounces him as a heretic. Afterwards, Robinson shares his emotional response to the incident and describes why he is able to persevere in the face of hate.
About the Film
Love Free or Die begins with the story of a man whose two defining passions are in conflict: his love for God and his love for his partner, Mark.
Gene Robinson is the first openly gay bishop in the high church traditions of Christendom. His consecration in 2003, to which he wore a bullet-proof vest, caused an international stir, and he has lived with death threats nearly every day since. Bishop Robinson refuses to leave the church that has taught for centuries it has no place for people like him. And he refuses to leave the man he loves, even though he has been taught it is God's will for him to do so. And of course he is not alone. Bishop Robinson lives in a nation and a world in which many are caught in this ultimate double bind.
Love Free or Die documents the lives of Bishop Robinson and a host of others in the church/state struggle for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality in America. Shot over three years, Love Free or Die reveals from the intimate inside how our culture and our laws change due to the convictions, courage and commitments of specific individuals and communities. Bishop Robinson as he changes hearts and minds on the LGBT equality issue, from working class towns in the northern mountains of New Hampshire to the Lincoln Memorial at Barack Obama's inauguration.
The film shows how Robinson's witness leads to cultural change as his church moves from frozen to outspoken on the LGBT equality issue, and it leads to legal change as his state, New Hampshire, moves from voting against same-sex marriage to supporting it.
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