A bill that would have honored Brothers Osborne band mate TJ Osborne — the first openly gay country artist ever to be signed to a major label — reached an impasse this week when Republican Tennessee representative Jeremy Faison used his power as the chair of House Republican Caucus to block the bill.
The resolution, which would symbolically honor TJ for his contributions as a country singer to the state of Tennessee, previously passed in the Senate 30-0.
“We have some concerns,” Faison explained as his reasoning for blocking the bill. When pressed to specify the nature of the concerns, he added, “It wasn’t heard at committee and I feel like it needs to be.”
However, some observers have claimed bigotry was the real reason behind Faison’s decision to nix the bill. Faison has historically often supported anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. In March, for example, he advocated in support of a bill that would ban transgender athletes from competing in middle and high school sports under their gender identity, according to The Tennesseean.
Country star and friend of the Brothers Osborne Kacey Musgraves spoke out against Faison’s blocking of the current bill, saying on Twitter that she was “massively disappointed” in the decision not to honor TJ.
For their part, the band mates extended an invitation to Faison, tweeting, “Jeremy, let’s have lunch one day. On us. Would really like to know more about you as a person.”
The Republican lawmaker responded, saying, “I would be honored to break bread with you.”
Still, Faison’s blocking of the resolution is a done deal, for now. As progressive site the Tennessee Holler notes, the committee is now closed for the year.
We’ve lived in this state for over half of our lives. @JeremyFaison4TN honored Ben Shapiro who doesn’t even live here. Jeremy, let’s have lunch one day. On us. Would really like to know more about you as a person. https://t.co/00w2rdwCec
— Brothers Osborne (@brothersosborne) May 4, 2021
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