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Dolly Parton apologizes for gay shirt spat at theme park

Chicago, IL — Dolly Parton has apologized for the gay marriage T-shirt controversy that happened at Dollywood last month.

Olivier Odom and Jennifer Tipton :: courtesy: wbir.com
Olivier Odom and Jennifer Tipton 
credit :: courtesy: wbir.com
"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," Parton wrote in a statement to ABC News.

Parton's Dollywood theme park made unwanted headlines after a lesbian visiting the park with her partner was asked to turn her T-shirt, which included a pro-gay message, inside out to avoid offending other park patrons.

Dollywood front gate attendants asked Olivier Odom to turn her "Marriage Is So Gay" shirt inside out for violating the park's dress code. The Dollywood website stipulates that clothing "with offensive words and/or pictures will not be permitted inside the park." It seems one gate attendant found the shirt offensive.

Odom and her partner, Jennifer Tipton, had visited the Knoxville, TN. park with some friends and children. They originally adhered to the request as not to disappoint the children. They have since been offered a refund.

The country music superstar has been an outspoken supporter of gay rights and reportedly came out in support of gay marriage in a 2009 interview on CNN.

Parton concluded, "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."