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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Dolly Parton Apologizes for Gay T-Shirt Incident at Dollywood Splash Country

A same-sex couple from Knoxville, TN recently took issue with the enforcement of the dress code at Dollywood Splash Country Pigeon Forge, TN and received a reply from Dolly Parton herself.
According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, Olivier Odom and her partner Jennifer Tipton were entering the park with their family on July 9 when a park worker asked Odom to turn her shirt inside out. The words "Marriage is so gay" were printed on the shirt, in support of gay marriage. When she asked why she needed to turn the shirt inside out, the park worker told Odom that Dollywood is a "family park."
Odom complied with the request, but wrote a letter to Dollywood later asking the park to "implement policies that are "inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people" and "inclusive of all families." She also stated that she felt Dollywood's policy about not allowing clothing or tattoos with offensive messages should be more clearly spelled out.
Representatives for Dollywood issued statement in response to the news, assuring the gay and lesbian community that everyone was welcome at Dollywood properties.  Now, Dolly Parton has released a statement to ABC News apologizing for the incident.  The statement reads:
"I am truly sorry for the hurt or embarrassment regarding the gay and lesbian t-shirt incident at Dollywood's Splash Country recently. Everyone knows of my personal support of the gay and lesbian community. Dollywood is a family park and all families are welcome." Dolly adds that the policies on clothing or signs with profanity or controversial messages are in place to protect the person wearing the shirt and keep disturbances at the park to a minimum. Dolly concludes saying, "I am looking further into the incident and hope and believe it was more policy than insensitivity. I am very sorry it happened at all."


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