Singer Dolly Parton has apologized to a
lesbian couple who accused Dollywood of discrimination.
Olivier Odom and Jennifer Tipton claim
they were asked to turn a “Marriage is so gay” t-shirt inside out
before being allowed to enter Dollywood's Splash Country in Pigeon
In a statement released to ABC News,
Parton said she was “truly sorry” and embarrassed” for the
“Everyone knows of my personal
support of the gay and lesbian community,” Parton said.
The couple said they agreed to the
park's dress code to avoid disappointing the children in their care.
“I was in disbelief,” Odom told
Knoxville NBC affiliate WBIR.
“I looked at him and I was like
really? He said, 'This is a family park,'” she added.
“Marriage is so gay” t-shirt raises funds and awareness to
support marriage equality.
Odom and Tipton married last year in
South Carolina's Outerbanks. (Neither Tennessee nor South Carolina
recognize such marriages.)
A scheduled August 2 meeting between
Odom, Tipton and Dollywood officials was canceled because the couple
wanted to include a representative from the Campaign for Southern
Equality. The civil rights group had suggested Odom write a letter
asking the park to articulate its policy on LGBT visitors.