Country Duo Graciously Responds To Republican Who Blocked Honor For Gay Singer

Tennessee Rep. Jeremy Faison expressed "some concerns" about congratulating T.J. Osborne of the Brothers Osborne, who came out as gay in February.

A country music duo hopes to meet with a Tennessee lawmaker who blocked the passage of a state measure to honor its lead singer, who is gay.

The planned resolution was set to congratulate T.J. Osborne, who is one-half of the Brothers Osborne, for being “a trailblazer and a symbol of hope for those country music artists and fans alike who may have felt ostracized from a genre they hold dear.”

“Though T.J. Osborne is not the first country music artist to come out as gay, he is the first and currently only openly gay artist signed to a major country music label,” the resolution, which can be found in full here, reads.

On Tuesday, the bill passed unanimously in the state Senate. However, Rep. Jeremy Faison, who is chair of the House Republican Caucus, rejected the measure.

Faison, who has backed anti-LGBTQ legislation in the past, did not cite Osborne’s sexuality in his decision. “We have some concerns,” he told the floor, as seen in footage of the hearing shared by the Tennessee Holler, a progressive media outlet. “It wasn’t heard in committee, and I feel like it needs to be.”

As a number of media outlets pointed out, however, such resolutions are largely symbolic and are rarely discussed in committees. In fact, similar honors were bestowed on right-wing media personalities Ben Shapiro and Candace Owens without incident.

News of the snub angered several of Osborne’s country music peers, including Grammy winners Maren Morris and Kacey Musgraves.

The Brothers Osborne, however, offered a more diplomatic solution by suggesting Faison meet them for lunch.

Later on Tuesday, Faison responded to the band’s invite and, from the sounds of it, a meeting could very well be in the works.

Osborne, 36, opened up about his sexuality for the first time publicly in a February interview with Time magazine.

“I’m very comfortable being gay,” he said. “I want to get to the height of my career being completely who I am. I mean, I am who I am, but I’ve kept a part of me muted, and it’s been stifling.”

Though Osborne is among a growing subset of artists in country and folk music who identify as LGBTQ, he’s the first to be signed to a major country label, EMI Records Nashville.

As the Brothers Osborne, he and his real-life brother, John, released their third album, “Skeletons,” last October. The duo is slated to kick off their We’re Not For Everyone Tour July 29 in Philadelphia.

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