Laura Marie Thompson

Laura Marie Thompson is a freelance journalist, former Observer intern and Houston native. She writes about race, gender, politics and more.

Five New Laws that Will Likely Get Texas Sued (Or Already Have)

The Texas Legislature passed at least 5 arguably unconstitutional bills this year, and the special session hasn’t even started.

Infighting, red-meat politics and parliamentary revenge characterized this year’s Texas Legislature. Amid the fray, legislators failed to reauthorize basic state agencies such as the Texas Medical Board, which is why Texans now face the gloomy fate of another 30-day session … Read More

LGBT Rights

‘Recipe for Discrimination’: Legal Battle Brews Over New ‘Religious Refusal’ Child Welfare Law

The controversial measure passed into law last month violates the separation of church and state, legal experts say.

A new Texas law meant to shield child welfare providers who deny services based on religious beliefs could strap the state with more legal problems than the providers ever faced, critics say. Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 3859 into … Read More

Health Care

House Votes to Expand Religious Freedom at the Expense of Foster Children, Critics Say

“Denying [kids] access to things they need or forcing your culture on them at the expense of theirs is not in the best interest of the children,” one foster parent said.

Patricia Murphy, a single foster mother in Austin who is certified to care for the children with the highest needs in the state, says her guiding principle is to “meet kids where they are.” She’s cared for a girl who … Read More