It's not often that a girl from eastern Tennessee comes out and says that she thinks gay people should have the right to get married. But this girl is a country music star, has put out gospel albums, and has a thriving business in what may be the Marriage Capital of the Volunteer State.
Singer/actress/businesswoman Dolly Parton recently told Britain's Event Magazine that she thinks homosexuals have just as much right to marry as heterosexual couples.
"I think everyone should be with who they love," Dolly said. "I don’t want to be controversial or stir up a bunch of trouble but people are going to love who they are going to love. I think gay couples should be allowed to marry. They should suffer just like us heterosexuals. Ha ha ha!"
Whether she wants to stir up a bunch of trouble or not, Dolly's statements may do just that. Of course, this is not Dolly's first brush with the topic. Back in 2011, there was a bit of a scandal when one half of a lesbian couple visiting her theme park in Tennessee, Dollywood, was seen wearing a t-shirt that read "Marriage is So Gay." The woman was asked to turn her shirt inside out. The woman did so, but later sent an email to complain about her treatment.
Dollywood offered to refund the couple's admission fee, but the reply also included a note from Dolly herself that read, in part:
"Everyone knows of my personal support of the gay and lesbian community. Dollywood is a family park and all families are welcome," she said. "We do have a policy about profanity or controversial messages on clothing or signs. It is to protect the individual wearing or carrying them, as well as to keep down fights or problems by those opposed to it at the park. We even offer free shirts in exchange to those who want to remain in the park."
Dolly herself has had to face rumors that she is a lesbian. She has a close female friend that she has known since childhood, named Judy Ogle. They are often seen together, since Ogle is Dolly's assistant, and rumors have flown for years. Dolly says that she is not gay, but if she were she would be privileged to have Judy as a partner.
But Dolly says she has always been faithful to her husband, Carl Dean, even though she has been the subject of countless rumors about affairs.
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