Country music legend Dolly Parton has affirmed her support for same-sex marriage rights in a new television interview.
Appearing on the Joy Behar Show last week, the singer was asked why she has such a large gay fan base, to which she replied: “I think it’s because they know that I’m different too,” adding “…they just appreciate that I love everybody for who they are. We’re not supposed to try to change people.”
When it came to the issue of same-sex marriage rights Parton commented: “I always say, ‘Sure, why can’t they get married? They should suffer like the rest of us.”
Behar also asked the 64 year old entertainer about Texan pastor Joel Osteen, who asserts that homosexuality is a sin and supports the ex-gay movement. “I don’t think that if he was a religious person he would be judging people,” said Parton.
America’s Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) applauded Parton for “her unyielding support to the LGBT community by fearlessly paving the road to marriage equality”.
Parton is a gay icon in the US thanks, in part, to her outrageous image and personality as well as her support of HIV/Aids causes. Her song Travelin’ Thru, which she wrote and performed for the film Transamerica, was nominated for an Academy award.