When the title character of Ellen announced in April that she is a lesbian, sisters Angie Winans, 29, and Debbie Winans, 26, were among the 36.2 million people who watched the ABC sitcom.

In response, the sisters, the youngest siblings of gospel singers BeBe and CeCe Winans, composed a song, "Not Natural," that addresses homosexuality and sexual immorality. It is part of the album Bold, released in October.

"It's not natural," the sisters sing. "Just because it's popular doesn't mean it's cool. It's not natural. No, that's not the way God planned."

Some of the negative reactions the Winans have received include a death threat, denunciation in homosexual newspapers, harassing phone calls, and boycotts of their recording.

Liz Tracy, spokesperson for the New York chapter of Gay and Lesbian Alliance, says, "I don't believe religion should be used to foster bigotry."

The sisters say they do not hate homosexuals. "But if we're going to talk about strengthening the family, we have to talk about rooting out what's tearing families apart," Angie Winans says.

In an October 16 speech to the Hollywood Radio and Television Society, Vice President Al Gore applauded Ellen as TV's first leading homosexual character. "When the character Ellen came out, millions of Americans were forced to look at sexual orientation in a more open light," Gore said.

December 8, 1997 Vol. 41, No. 14, Page 62

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