Dolly Parton has issued a personal apology to Olivier Odom and Jennifer Tipton, the lesbian couple at the center of a huge controversy last month when a guard at Dollywood objected to Odom's t-shirt that read "Marraige is so Gay."
"I am truly sorry for any hurt or embarrassment regarding the gay and lesbian T-shirt incident," Parton wrote in a statement. "Everyone knows of my personal support of the gay and lesbian community. Dollywood is a family park and all families are welcome... 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." Commentors on gay websites like Towelroad applauded Parton's apology, writing things like "Love Dolly. This is a classy move. It's big of her to apologize. It IS difficult in a world where one tries to please everyone. I wish more people could be like her."
Dollywood officials offered the couple a refund and were set to meet with them on Tuesday, a move that the park later called off when Odom and Tipton wanted to include a representative from the Campaign For Southern Equality. A park representative said they would review the company's dress code policy for 2012.