Dolly Parton's famous Dollywood theme park was plunged into a gay rights row this week, as a married lesbian couple alleged that they were discriminated against by park staff. Dolly Parton, who has being running the Knoxville, Tennessee theme park as Dollywood since 1986, has previously come out in support of gay marriage and may be shocked to learn that her security staff asked one of the couple to turn her 'Marriage is so Gay' t-shirt inside-out before she was allowed to enter the park. The married couple, Olivier Odom and Jennifer Tipton, told an NBC affiliate that they had hoped to attend the theme park just like any newly-wed couple: ""I was in disbelief. I didn't think it was the policy of Dollywood to discriminate against the LGBT community.I was curious what he found offensive about the shirt. If it was the fact that it had the word gay on it or that it was in conjunction with the word marriage."
In an interview with, a U.S. gay and lesbian news magazine, Pete Owens, the media/PR manager for Dollywood, gave an interview and claimed that it was a misunderstanding, and merely a consequence of a strict dress code policy: "It doesn't have anything to do with who the people are or what their belief system is or with anything other than the fact that we try to prevent as best as we can upon entry of the park one of our guests being offended by something someone else is wearing." Parton recently gave an interview in Dallas Voice, where she addressed her LGBT fans: "I have always loved my gay fans.They accept me and I accept them. We get along just fine. I am very proud and honoured when they dress up like me or whatever they want to do!"