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MONTE WATKINS Houston Itestified for myself as an individual at the hearing, but I am a member of a myriad of groups including the Mordecai Mission Initiative, the Eagle Forum, and the Daughters of Liberty who support the marriage plank of the Republican Party. I founded the Gulf Coast Eagle Forum because I felt like I could get more knowledge if I did that; I had a lot of respect for Phyllis Schafly, a very smart lady. Years ago, I voted for Jimmy Carter, but I was very disappointed. I was very naive to believe that a Christian like Jimmy Carter would have the same beliefs that I do; in fact, if you get ten Christians in here, you may get ten different beliefs. But after Carter, I started looking for groups and a political party that more closely resembled what I personally felt. I joined the Republican Party in the early eighties, during the days of Nancy Palm [sometimes called Nancy “Napalm” Palm], who basically started the Republican Party in Texasgot it going and into action. Dolph Briscoe, a conservative Democrat governor, told Nancy, “You’ll never get anyone elected governor in Texas who’s not a Democrat,” and that was a mistakeit was like saying sic ’em to a dog. me tell you. Back then, everything was so tied up in that one Democrat Party, and if you disagreed… well, I disagreed. And I still disagree. I disagree with a lot of stuff. I did not agree when Harvey Milk, the homosexual Town Supervisor in San Francisco, was shot by someone who was supposedly a conservative. I totally disagreed with that. That is NOT the way to disagree. You have to be involved in a Godly mannerdisagree, but disagree gently. You don’t hurt people. I have absolutely nothing against the homosexuals; what I am against is their way of life. It’s not the person, it’s the sin. I don’t believe in killing, stealing, or adultery either, and to me all of those things are in the same category [with homosexuality]. We have laws against theft, murder, even against lying, so it doesn’t make me a bad person because I disagree [with the gay rights crowd] on this homosexuality issue, too. I was raised in the church, but I have not always been a Christian. Until Christ got ahold of my life, I was a mess. My daddy is a farmer, and I started out chopping cotton, driving a tractor, and riding in the rodeo in Central Texas. I did not finish school, but scored high enough on my GED that Baylor accepted me as a student. I had three children very earlymy first child when I was sixteenand a couple of divorces, but then I met Ned, and we’ve been married for thirty-six years. I worked for fifty years in the real estate business before I retired. As a single woman, I know how hard life can be, and is. I know that Christianity works, and I know what the other side is. This was the first time I had ever testified before a [legislative] committee in my life. I was apprehensive and prayed a lot because I want so badly for people to see my heartthat I am not a radical, that I don’t hate anybody. But I saw what they did to Anita Bryant. I heard what they said about Geneva Kirk Brooks [President of Citizens Against Pornography in Houston]”Burn Brooks, not books.” A few years ago, my husband and I were at one of the [Gay Pride Week parades]. After the parade broke up, some of them walked by us, talking to each other, but I heard them look around and say, “Mess with us, and we’ll rape your kids.” 10 THE TEXAS OBSERVER OCTOBER 7, 2005