After two country music stars recently came out as gay, a well-known name in the industry is speaking out in favor of same-sex marriage, applauding her fellow performers for sharing their sexuality.
LeAnn Rimes said that she hopes that the recent admissions by country music stars Ty Herndon, 52, and Billy Gilman, 26, offer up hope that the industry — one not known for embracing openly gay stars — is officially warming up to the gay community.
"I hope that we're moving forward and not back," Rimes said in a video interview with gay rights group GLAAD. "I've known Ty since I was 8 years old. … I'm so proud of him and … I know how scary it was for him to have to do that."
Singer LeAnn Rimes performs at the 82nd Annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting on December 3, 2014 in New York City. (Paul Zimmerman/WireImage)
The singer went on to say that she believes Herndon's decision to step forward after concealing his sexuality for decades was "powerful" and inspirational, noting that his coming out inspired Gilman to do the same in a YouTube video released last month.
"Ty waited for a very long time in his life to come out and Billy actually has a chance at having a full life as an out gay man," Rimes said. "I'm super proud of them both."
The country music star said that, in the end, she believes "people should be able to love who they love."
Watch her speak about the issue below: