A Tennessee Republican lawmaker on Monday blocked a resolution that had passed unanimously in the state senate honoring country music star T.J. Osborne of the Brothers Osborne. In February Osborne came out, becoming the first openly-gay country music artist signed to a major country music label.
“We have some concerns,” Rep. Jeremy Faison told his fellow lawmakers on the House floor Tuesday as he blocked the bill.
When pressed, he claimed the resolution had not gone through committee. One lawmaker noted the House had already voted on several bills today that had not gone through committee, and neither Faison nor anyone else had blocked them.
Nevertheless, Faison used his status as the Chair of the House Republican Caucus to block the resolution, sending it to committee.
As the Tennessee Holler notes (video below), that committee is closed for the year, which means that Faison killed the resolution.
Rep. Faison has a long anti-LGBTQ history, but perhaps he is best known nationally for claiming in 2012, during a flood of LGBTQ youth suicides caused by bullying that LGBTQ children and teens don’t die by suicide because of bullying.
Instead, Faison claimed, they died by suicide because their parents did not instill “proper principles.”
“We can’t continue to legislate everything,” Faison said. “We’ve had some horrible things happen in America and in our state, and there’s children that have actually committed suicide, but I will submit to you today that they did not commit suicide because of somebody bullying them. They committed suicide because they were not instilled the proper principles of where their self-esteem came from at home.”
Faison also signed once onto a brief with 70 other lawmakers attempting to intervene in the case of a divorce of a same-sex couple.
In 2019 Faison defended a bill that allowed adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ people and same-sex couples in the name of religion.