OFFSTAGE: Dollywood Policy Questioned by Lesbians

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

I wonder if Dolly Parton knows that a man who works at Dollywood’s Splash Country asked a woman to turn her shirt inside out because it said “Marriage is so gay”? The spokesman for Dollywood claims their dress code policy prohibits guests from wearing clothes or tattoos that are offensive to other guests. So how is that shirt offensive? “Gay” is certainly not a swear word. In fact, because the woman wearing it was gay and married, I would say the shirt celebrates new gay marriage laws. (However, Tennessee still bans same-sex marriage, so maybe the shirt was deemed offensive because “Marriage is so gay” is an illegal statement.)

The guest sent a letter to Dollywood asking the park to be more inclusive of gay guests. There’s no word on what Parton herself says about the T-shirt reversal request, but my gut tells me she would have let it go. Parton has a reputation for being sweet, generous, loving, charming, humble and funny as hell. Never in my life have I ever heard any reports to the contrary. I remember a couple of years ago when she was a guest on The Joy Behar Show and was asked about her stance on gay marriage. She replied, “I always say, ’Sure, why can’t they get married? They should suffer like the rest of us do.'”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.