August 3, 2011

IconDolly Parton apologises to lesbian couple following homophobia at theme park

Country music legend Dolly Parton has issued an apology to a woman who was ordered to turn her “marriage is so gay” t-shirt inside-out at the “Dollywood” theme park.

Olivier Odom was told by park staff that her t-shirt was offensive and inappropriate for the family venue. She complied with the order to turn it inside-out – thereby hiding the gay rights slogan – in order to avoid making a scene, but later issued a public complaint.

In a heartfelt statement broadcast by ABC News, Parton reiterated her long-standing support for gay rights. “I am truly sorry for the hurt or embarrassment regarding the gay and lesbian t-shirt incident at Dollywood’s Splash Country recently,” she said.

“Everyone knows of my personal support of the gay and lesbian community. Dollywood is a family park and all families are welcome.”

However, park officials called off a meeting with outspoken Odom and her partner Jennifer Tipton when they asked to bring a representative from the Campaign for Southern Equality with them. The pair were instead offered a refund.

The couple have welcomed Parton’s intervention but say that they will continue their campaign. “I think it’s an opportunity for Dollywood to come out and publicly support their LGBT staff and visitors,” Odom said.

“We still want to see policy changed,” added Tipton.

1 Response to Dolly Parton apologises to lesbian couple following homophobia at theme park

  1. Maximus says:

    Dolly Parton is a kind and generous woman. I would never, ever, believe someone if they were to say she is homophobic.No way! She ain’t all breasts and no brain, void of a heart.Besides her gorgeous voice there’s Angelic pair of wings on her back too! There is no accounting for staff or venue is there? Love you Dollyxxx

Ruth Pearce


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