“This is a family park,” said Dollywood amusement park employee to Olivier Odom after he asked her to remove her sarcastic “Marriage is so Gay” t-shirt, according to Knoxville, Tennessee’s WBIR.
Apparently, the Dollywood gatekeeper did not realize that marriage – and families – can very well be gay. Odom, at Dollywood with her wife Jennifer Tiptin, was married last year.
Dollywood asserts it is their policy for gatekeepers to make decisions and enforce the dress code for patrons, but Odom and Tiptin say they were singled-out.
“It was just this one guy who picked out this one t-shirt, when there were rebel flags and offensive tatoos there,” said Tiptin to WBIR.
Odom, who did not want to create a scene in front of her friends’ children, also at the park, went through with the park’s instructions to turn her “offensive” shirt inside out.
She did, however, write this letter:
“To ensure that your customers are not treated this way in the future, I would like to see Dollywood: implement policies that are inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people; conduct staff sensitivity training; and issue a public statement indicating that the park is inclusive of all families.”
As hearings began today to replace the Defense of Marriage Act with the Respect for Marriage Act, Dollywood may have to brace itself for more “Marriage is so Gay” t-shirts and, quite possible, gay marriage.
Watch video coverage or read more about the incident at WBIR.
Sourced from AlterNet
Written by Kristen Gwynne
Has there been an OFFICIAL reply from Dollywood? I would like to read it if there has been one. Please post it!
I will post it as soon as it happens (if it ever does!).
She should have asked to speak to someone with a brain, maybe a supervisor and not rely on a gate person to determine what she could wear.
There has been no public reply from Dollywood or anyone else…………..That in itself says a whle lot about our area here. Gay marriage is on the verge of being recognised all over America at the moment and it took one dumb ass to ruin it for a lot of people at the water park, Karma can be mean to say the least..:)
Gay marriage will soon be legal all across the USA (as it should be!), and this kind of stupid-ass behavior will start to go away (hopefully).
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No, we haven’t heard anything from Dollywood yet. I’ll post any reply I get from them.
I am guessing this is just one overzealous employee who was not necessarily representing Dollywood’s policies correctly, but unfortunately probably does reflect local sentiment. I am hoping for a statement from Dollywood stating uncategorically that they welcome and value their GLBT visitors. I know that Dolly has stated in her books that she is supportive of her many gay fans. I can’t imagine she would condone this bullying by one of the staff.
Found this humorous quote from Dolly on gay marriage: “Sure, why can’t they get married? They should suffer like the rest of us do.” Pretty funny considering that she has been married to the same man since her 20s and by all accounts it’s a very happy union. 😉
On August 1, Dolly Parton issued a statement of apology to ABC News regarding the “Dollywood Incident.”
Parton said: “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.”
She added: “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.”