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Daniel Karslake.

When he was a producer on the PBS gay and lesbian newsmagazine In the Life, Daniel Karslake specialized in the tricky intersection between religion and sexuality. It's an issue he probes further in his new documentary, For the Bible Tells Me So, which follows five religious families (including those of famous figures Bishop V. Gene Robinson and Chrissy Gephardt) on their journey to accept the gay members of their clan.

The film has developed a reputation as something of a tearjerker--did you ever have emotional moments while you were shooting? Oh, absolutely! There were probably more than a couple times where I stopped shooting and wasn't necessarily clear about why. I'd say there was a lighting problem or something [laughing], and I'd look away and try to get my composure.

When did it become clear to you that the film might be able to reach a wider audience than just gay people? I had a woman at the Sundance Film Festival stand up after the screening and say, "First, I'm a born-again Christian," and I sort of thought, OK, here it comes. But then she said, "I just want to thank you for reminding the world about the real message of Jesus." Now, for that to come from a born-again Christian--a person I didn't know we'd ever be able to reach, let alone move--is huge.

The stories in the film focus heavily on how these parents dealt with their children coming out. How did it go when you came out to your parents? Our relationship was hugely tested when I came out. My father used to call and leave Bible verses on my answering machine to the point where I called him one night and said, "You know what? It's hard enough for me to accept this; we really don't need to talk anymore until you can stop throwing Bible stuff at me. This is between you and me, not us and God."
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Title Annotation:SHORT ANSWERS
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Interview
Date:Nov 6, 2007
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