Past Film/Video | Documentaries

For They Know Not What They Do

(Daniel Karslake, 2019)


A father and child, Ryan and Rob Robertson, pray together touching foreheads.

Commemorate Pride month by spending time with For They Know Not What They Do, a thoughtful documentary that looks at four families navigating the confluence of religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity in today’s America. The film is the latest release by Daniel Karslake, director of the acclaimed doc For the Bible Tells Us So.

While the 2015 Marriage Equality Act was embraced by many Americans as a victory in the march toward full equality for LGBTQ people, it was a step too far for some conservatives. Emboldened by the 2016 election and collaborating with members of the religious right, some politicians began invoking both the Bible and the US Constitution for the “religious freedom” to legally discriminate, and as this documentary demonstrates, their collective retaliation has been swift, severe, and surprisingly effective. By telling the personal stories of religious families struggling to raise trans, gay, and gender fluid children in this environment, the film offers healing and understanding to others caught in the crosshairs.

The Wexner Center presented a memorable screening of For the Bible Tells Us So in Mershon Auditorium in 2007 that featured a panel of religious and community leaders and a performance by The Illuminati, an ensemble of the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus. Even though we’re not able to gather an audience for this presentation in person, we’re pleased to be able to show this award-winning companion film as part of Pride month. (91 mins., digital video)
​​​​​​​Closed captioning available

More about the film

"Has an emotional impact that not many docs can equal."
A father and child, Ryan and Rob Robertson, pray together touching foreheads.

Ryan and Rob Robertson pray together, image courtesy First Run Features.

Coleen and Harold Porcher pose with baby Elliot in a family portrait.

Coleen, Harold, and Elliot Porcher pose for a family portrait, image courtesy First Run Features.

Elliot Porcher, a teen, sits on his bed

Elliot Porcher in his bedroom, image courtesy First Run Features.

The McBride family embraces amid the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

David, Sally, and Sarah McBride embrace at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, image courtesy 
First Run Features.

Greater Columbus Arts Council
Ohio Arts Council
American Electric Power Foundation
The Columbus Foundation
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Nationwide Foundation

Huntington Bank
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Kaufman Development
Cardinal Health Foundation


Past Film/Video

For They Know Not What They Do