A Tennessee resolution honoring out country music star T.J. Osborne was shut down by a single Republican lawmaker with a history of anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments and actions. According to a report in Variety, Representative Jeremy Faison, chair of Tennessee's House Republican Caucus, used a procedural objection to send the unanimously approved resolution honoring Osborne back to committee, effectively killing it for the year. While others expressed outrage at Faison's moves, the Brothers Osborne instead extended an olive branch to get better acquainted with the powerful politician.
"Jeremy, let's have lunch one day. On us," the brothers tweeted, saying they "would really like to know more about you as a person."
"I would be honored to break bread with you," Faison tweeted in response a short time later.
\u201c@brothersosborne I would be honored to break bread with you.\u201d
T.J. Osborne, 36, lead singer for the popular singing duo Brothers Osborne with brother John, came out as gay in February. The popular country music group has been nominated for multiple Grammys and won several CMA Awards. Osborne is the first out country musician signed by a major record label. Despite the fame and exposure, Osborne told fans not to worry about the negative feedback he might receive from a traditionally conservative industry.
"I'm very comfortable being gay," he said at the time, adding that it felt "so strange" to be open and at peace with his sexual orientation.
The rejected resolution, known as SJR 609, sought to "commend and honor" Osborne as "the first openly gay artist signed to a major country music label, extending our gratitude for his integrity and our best wishes for much continued success in all his future endeavors."
When pressed on the House floor as to why he objected to the resolution, Faison first cited the need to "send it back to naming and designation" before claiming there were issues that needed to be dealt with in committee.
"We have some concerns," Faison said in video of the exchange posted to social media by the Tennessee Holler.
"A lot of SJRs are not heard in committees and we vote on 'em," Representative Antonio Parkinson, a Democrat, said in response. "We voted on a couple of them today, as a matter of fact."
\u201cWATCH: \u201cWe have some concerns.\u201d \n\n@JeremyFaison4TN and the @tnhousegop block a resolution to honor out gay country music star TJ Osborne of the @brothersosborne for no reason other than blatant bigotry and spite. \n\nIt passed the senate 30-0. \nSo much hate in our state. \ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\ud83c\udf08\u201d
— The Tennessee Holler (@The Tennessee Holler)
The Brothers Osborne quickly responded to the slight, noting that Faison similarly honored conservative pundit Ben Shapiro "who doesn't even live" in Tennessee, while the brothers have lived in the state more than half of their lives.
Faison has been a supporter of anti-trans legislation in his state, including bills that would regulate trans women's use of female restrooms, effectively ban trans girls from competing in school sports according to their true gender, and worse. He had infamously claimed in 2012 that the proven surge in death by suicide among LGBTQ+ youth was not "because of somebody bullying them" but "because they were not instilled the proper principles of where their self-esteem came from at home."
The resolution, which passed the Republican-controlled Tennessee Senate by a unanimous 30-0 vote, now remains in limbo. No word if Faison will demand they dine at a local Chick-Fil-A.