Love Free or Die

News Release Date: 
May 7, 2013

LINCOLN, Neb. (May 3, 2013) -- “Love Free or Die,” a film about the Rev. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop in the United States, is the “Coffee and Conversation in the Community” film May 19.


The film screens at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 19, at the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center at 13th and Q streets on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus.A discussion in UNL’s Van Brunt Visitors Center follows each screening. The discussion leader is the Rev. Jerrold Thompson, rector of St. Mark’s on the Campus Episcopal Church and Student Center.


“Love Free or Die” is the story of Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, whose two defining passions the world cannot reconcile: his love for God and for his husband Mark. Robinson becomes the first openly gay person to be elected bishop in the high church traditions of Christendom. And he confronts those who use religion as an instrument of oppression. His 2003 ordination brought the church to the brink of schism; he received death threats and wore a bullet-proof vest. He delivered the invocation at Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009. Denied invitation to the 2008 Anglican world conference of bishops, he spoke to the media outside the cathedral. Shunned by some, he also receives calls from gay Christians who draw hope from his example. Robinson believes that by changing the church, he can change the world.

Now retired, Robinson continues to lecture and speak about Christianity and homosexuality, and he continues to calmly and eloquently make the case that who you love doesn’t determine whether God loves you.

 “Coffee and Conversation” is free and open to the public and is presented by NET Learning Services/NET Community Engagement and Educational Outreach. The films are shown in partnership with ITVS Community Cinema, Lincoln community radio station KZUM (89.3 FM), Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and Southeast Community College.

For more information on the series and NET Community Engagement and Educational Outreach, check the NET website at