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Rep. Jason Villalba Disputes ‘License to Discriminate’ Label, Responds to LGBT Critics

State Rep. Jason Villalba (R-Dallas) remains adamant that a proposed constitutional amendment he filed earlier this month isn’t intended to undermine local ordinances prohibiting anti-LGBT discrimination.

The Observer Review: The Purse Bearer, by Joe Holley

The Purse Bearer revolves around a central character, Wily T. Foxx, who is given the opportunity to quit his job collecting animal carcasses for the Texas Highway Department and go to work on the 1980 gubernatorial campaign of Rose Marie “Red” Ryder.

Facing Poverty on the Off-Ramp

Rarely is I-45 a stage for moral quandaries—at least until you exit, stop at the first intersection, and confront an ethical impasse at the underpass. There, at the red light, you face a panhandler.

Best of the Observer 2014

Settle in this holiday season with a few of our staff-selected greatest hits from 2014. We’ll be posting a new selection here daily until 2015.

Observer Radio: The Change Makers of Reproductive Rights

Observer Radio speaks with healthcare and reproductive rights activists Lenzi Sheible and Peggy Romberg. Also, what happens when your neighbor is the Austin Thanksgiving shooter?

The Change Makers

For our 60th anniversary, photographer Matt Wright-Steel created portraits of some of the artists and activists who are changing Texas for the better.

Five Texas-Sized Examples of Anti-Gay Bigotry in 2014

It isn’t hard to understand why the rest of the country has gotten the impression that Texas is an absolute living gay hell.

The Next 60: Cutting Carbon and Reinventing the Economy

Texas is uniquely vulnerable to a changing climate but also poised to take advantage of a carbon-free economy that includes wind and solar power.

My Dogsitter, the ATX Shooter

For the past three weeks, my neighbors and I have wrestled with the fact that the man we knew, Steve McQuilliams, scarcely resembled the figure who shot up downtown Austin.

The Next 60: Living at the Edge of Change

Less obvious was the border as a place, home to millions of people charting a future within the paradox that is the border—desperately poor but highly lucrative; largely ignored while occupying a mythical place in the popular imagination.