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TJ Osborne Says He's 'Hurt' After Tenn. Lawmakers Block Measure to Honor Him as Gay Country Music Star

·2 min read

Lloyd Bishop/NBCU TJ Osborne

TJ Osborne is speaking out after Tennessee lawmakers blocked the passage of a state resolution to commend and honor him after he came out as gay in February.

According to the measure, Osborne, 36, is the "first and currently only openly gay artist signed to a major country music label" and has become "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."

On Monday, Rep. Jeremy Faison used his power as the House Republican Caucus to block the resolution after it had been passed unanimously in the state Senate.

"We have some concerns," he said in a video of the hearing published by The Tennessee Holler. Though he didn't specify his concerns, Faison said that "it wasn't heard in committee, and I feel like it needs to be."

A total of 63 representatives voted in favor of sending the measure back to a committee, which, as the outlet noted, "has closed for the year."

AFF-USA/Shutterstock TJ and John Osborne of Brothers Osborne

RELATED: Dierks Bentley, Kacey Musgraves and Maren Morris Celebrate TJ Osborne Coming Out: 'Love This Guy'

In response, several country music stars spoke out about Faison's move to table the legislation — including TJ himself.

The official Twitter account for Brothers Osborne retweeted the video on Tuesday, writing, "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."

"I wish I could say this didn't hurt, but it does," TJ wrote in a since-expired Instagram Story, re-sharing a message of support from fellow singer Maren Morris.

Kacey Musgraves wrote on Twitter, "Massively disappointed in TN House Republicans for blocking my friend @TJOsborne for being honored because HE'S GAY!?"

RELATED VIDEO: Brothers Osborne's New Album Has Them Burning for the Road: 'Sleeping on a Bus Sounds Amazing Now'

Later Tuesday, Faison reached out to Brothers Osborne about potentially meeting.

"I would be honored to break bread with you," he tweeted, to which the country duo replied, "We'll message you directly, @JeremyFaison4TN."

In an interview with TIME earlier this year, TJ came out as gay and detailed the unconditional support he's received from his brother John, with whom he forms Brothers Osborne.

RELATED: TJ Osborne Says He Feels 'Incredibly Loved' After Coming Out as Gay: 'I Did Not Expect It'

"I'm very comfortable being gay," Osborne told the outlet, explaining that he worried about coming out in an industry that leans conservative. "I find myself being guarded for not wanting to talk about something that I personally don't have a problem with. That feels so strange."

"People will ask, 'Why does this even need to be talked about?' and personally, I agree with that," he later added. "But for me to show up at an awards show with a man would be jaw-dropping to people. It wouldn't be like, 'Oh, cool!'"

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