Song’s Anti-Gay Stance Spurs Protests, Boycotts

From Religion News Service

When Christian music artists Angie and Debbie Winans released their album “Bold” this month, they never expected the angry reactions.

They got a death threat, successive telephone calls from gay and lesbian groups and boycotts from churchgoers in response to “Not Natural,” a song that addresses violence, promiscuity and homosexuality.

While all of those issues are socially volatile, it’s their stance against homosexuality that is drawing fire in both Christian and secular communities.


When the sisters performed last Saturday at the annual benefit at Greater Bethany Community Church in Los Angeles, some churchgoers boycotted. The church, which usually draws 2,000 to this event, had 125 attendees. Churchgoers knew in advance “Not Natural” would be performed.

Despite the controversies, the two are sticking to their stand.

“It’s just the word of God,” said Debbie Winans, 26. “We want to point people back to Jesus and his way of doing things.”

She and Angie Winans, 29, are younger sisters of renowned contemporary Christian artists BeBe and CeCe Winans.

To Angie and Debbie, homosexuality is not God’s intent for human sexual relationships. “It’s the truth,” Debbie Winans said. “I guess people are upset about the truth.”

The duo wrote “Not Natural” after the lead character of ABC-TV’s sitcom “Ellen,” played by lesbian actress Ellen DeGeneres, announced her homosexuality last season.

The song’s lyrics, which have an urban, hip-hop and jazz feel, include:

There were people celebrating and congratulating

The new addition to the gay community

I was vexed in the spirit

And I began to write this song

It may be cold but let the truth be told

I’m here to let you know

It’s not natural

Debbie Winans said they wanted to offer an alternative to what they believe is a glorification of sex in society. “Wrong has taken precedence for so long,” she said. “It’s just time that God’s principles have some publicity so that we can present an alternative choice.”

But the song worries Liz Tracey, the associate communications director for the New York City chapter of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

“Music like this can lead to violence,” Tracey said. “People are appalled to see this sort of hatred from a family that is so well-known for great gospel work. It completely ignores the fact that there are a lot of gay Christians.”

Tracey said she’s been trying to meet with the duo to discuss the song.

“The sisters have every right in the world to sing that song, but we have the right to say it’s homophobic. I don’t believe religion should be used to foster bigotry,” she said.