Bishop Gene Robinson’s life and ministry is profiled in a new film set to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Monday. The movie “Love Free or Die” is a documentary look at the strains in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion surrounding Bishop Robinson’s election, consecration and ministry.
“The film follows Robinson as the church grapples with how to handle LGBT issues. Robinson’s election brought to a head divisions between liberal and conservative members of both the Episcopal Church in the United States and the worldwide body of which it is a part, the Anglican Communion.
Filmmakers followed Robinson to England in 2008, where he was excluded from a global gathering of bishops called the Lambeth Conference. And they followed him to the Episcopal Church’s 2009 General Convention, where leaders voted to give bishops discretion to permit blessings of same-sex marriages, civil unions or domestic partnerships (where legal) and allow gay men and women to become bishops.
Along the way, they interviewed Robinson, his family and other church leaders, many of whom supported his quest for equality and some of whom did not. In one scene, a woman sobs that she is torn between wanting to do what’s best for the people around her while also remaining true to scripture.
Filmmakers also interviewed other gay church leaders, including former Episcopal Diocese of Utah Bishop Otis Charles, who regrets not coming out sooner.”
The article linked above in the Salt Lake Tribune reports that Bishop Robinson will be meeting with faith leaders in Utah at private events next week. It’s expected that many of the faith leaders will object to his ministry as a gay leader in the Episcopal Church, but he hopes to be able be able to listen
“most especially to those who disagree with me so I can better understand what stands in the way of our finding common ground on this issue,” Robinson said. “The more I understand those who oppose us, the better I’m able to speak, I think, to their concerns.””