By People Staff
May 26, 1997 12:00 PM

Ellen DeGeneres’s very public announcement that she, like her TV alter ego, is gay (PEOPLE, May 5) drew the greatest response from readers. Most of those who wrote applauded DeGeneres’s courage, though approval was far from unanimous. Sheila Rauch Kennedy’s fight to keep her marriage from being annulled had the support of nearly all who wrote, most of them divorced Catholics themselves.


Kudos to Brooke and Andre on their beautiful wedding. Growing up in Princeton, I would occasionally see Brooke in town during her college years. She was always nice and pleasant to people and never had a movie-star attitude.

CATHY SHILLABER, Lawrenceville, N.J.

Thank you for not taking the happy couple off the cover to celebrate the Ellen “situation.” I am absolutely weary of having 1 percent of the population shove their attitudes down my throat.

DEBI FERGUSON, Colorado Springs

  • I am a heterosexual, married mother of four boys. I taped Ellen to let my children see it. I want them to be informed and accepting of all people. In my opinion the show was a thoughtful, informative example of the way these subjects should be handled. I am happy and proud that such a show can be broadcast in this country.
  • CAROLYN MORELLI, Waterford, Pa.

As a Birmingham resident, I am proud that our ABC affiliate station chose courage over cowardice in electing not to air the Ellen show. Homosexuality is not a sin solely in the eyes of Jerry Falwell. In both the Old and New Testaments, the Bible plainly states that homosexuality is a perverse and detestable sin.

SHIRLEY BOYD, Pelham, Ala.

Dear Wendy’s: I’ve been with you for a long time now. It started after Little League, when my dad and I would stop for a Triple and a Frosty. I stayed with you through college, and when I moved out on my own I sustained myself with your 99-cent Value Menu. All this makes what I have to say extremely difficult. I have to say goodbye. By refusing to air commercials on Ellen, you have shown a side of yourself I have never seen before. I believe in old-fashioned values just as much as I believe in old-fashioned hamburgers. But my old-fashioned values do not include discrimination. Our relationship was fun, exciting and fulfilling. It’s just too bad your prejudice has ended something that could have lasted a lifetime.

TODD A. CARTER, Laguna Beach, Calif.

Amanda Bearse is quoted, “We are in every job, we’re every color. We’re not out to take over the world. We just want to live in it.” Really? Then just do it—quietly, responsibly. And, please, get outta my face!


North Fort Myers, Fla.

As I’m flipping channels, I come across a man and woman, half-dressed, about to have sex. On the next channel the Power Rangers are beating up some villain, and on another a murder is being committed. Then I come across Ellen, who is confessing she is gay. Hmm, let me think. Which of these shows is least likely to affect a child?

S. GINGRAS, Hampden, Mass.


Many of us who are divorced Catholics decided long ago never to compromise our integrity by applying for an annulment. To do so is to tell our children, whom we adore, that our marriages never existed, but that, oh, by the way, the Catholic Church says you are legitimate. That is the ultimate dishonesty. My hat is off to Sheila Kennedy for bringing this whole process to light so eloquently and honestly.

CLAIRE A. RANDALL, Springfield, Va.

Hooray for Sheila Kennedy! As a divorced, remarried Catholic and a mother of four, I chose, for my children’s benefit, not to annul my first marriage. I am still attending Catholic services; however, I am unable to receive communion. This is a small sacrifice for my children’s happiness. I hope her appeal is won and the church will enter into the 20th century. Good luck, Sheila. There are a lot of divorced American Catholics behind you.

MARY STOVER, Pusan, South Korea

Why does Episcopalian Sheila Rauch Kennedy give a horse’s patoot about the rules and regulations of ex-husband Joe’s church? What will Sheila do if she falls in love and wants to marry another Catholic in his church? Get an annulment, of course! Sheila, God and the rest of the world acknowledge your marriage and your children. Go ahead and get the annulment over with while it’s his nickel, and get on with your life.

JUDI GATES, Albuquerque