Community Cinema, a national documentary screening series presented locally by Ashé Cultural Arts Center in collaboration with WYES, Charitable Film Network, New Orleans Film Society and Independent Television Service (ITVS) presents a screening of Love Free or Die at Ashé Cultural Arts Center in New Orleans Friday, June 21, at 6:00 p.m.
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, traveling 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.
After the film there will be a brief talk-back session with panelists Rev. Melanie Morel-Ensminger, Consulting Minister at North Shore Unitarian Universalists and Hammond Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Pastor Louis Jones from Saint John Institutional Missionary Baptist Church, and Father Bill Terry from St. Anna's Episcopal.