Karine Jean-Pierre
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Lesbian Country Singer Chely Wright Begs Genre to 'Condemn Bigoted Laws'

Lesbian Country Singer Chely Wright Urges Genre to 'Condemn Bigoted Laws'

Out singer Chely Wright appeared on CNN Wednesday, encouraging fellow country music stars to support LGBT rights and "condemn these very bigoted laws."   

The country music community is "still a little behind" when it comes to supporting LGBT rights, said Wright. "It's scary as a county music artist. It's scary because you know that by and large our fanbase—the bedrock of their lives is faith family and country."

The state of Tennessee, which is home to the nation's country music capital, is currently considering passing a transphobic "bathroom bill," that would bar transgender students in Tennessee public schools from using the restrooms, locker rooms, and other facilities that don't match their gender identity. The Tennessee Attorney General believes it could cost the state millions in federal funding.

Wright said that country artists are ready to show support for the LGBT community, but some remain hesitant. Country music fans need to hear that their stars are opposed to bills that effect the LGBT community negatively explained Wright. "There are a few that I know are on the precipice of saying something. I think they feel uncertain, they don't know exactly what to say, they don't know what the reaction will be."

"But change—what we need in 2016, is for them to absolutely 100 percent affirm the LGBT community and condemn these very bigoted laws," she explained. 

To say "hate the sin love the sinner" is "so 2010," said Wright, and the hesitation from country singers to support LGBT rights may stem from lack of education on LGBT issues.

"A lot of my peers in country music may not think they know a trans person. I know they know a gay person. I know many of them have gays and lesbians who work for them and they love them but we need them now to take that very courageous step to affirm," she told CNN.

On Twitter, Wright has been vocal about her opposition to anti-LGBT "religious freedom" laws and "bathroom bills."

At least one fellow country musician, Billy Ray Cyrus, father to pansexual singer Miley Cyrus, has spoken out against the legislation.

Watch Chely Wright speak with CNN about LGBT rights, below.

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