Dollywood Theme Park Accused of Discrimination Against Homosexuals

By:  Dave Bohon
07/27/2011
       
Dollywood Theme Park Accused of Discrimination Against Homosexuals

Dolly Parton’s Dollywood theme park has made some unwanted headlines after a lesbian visiting the park with her partner was asked to turn her T-shirt, which included the message “Marriage Is So Gay,” inside out to avoid offending other park patrons. In early July, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel, same-sex partners Olivier Odom and Jennifer Tipton visited the park with some friends, including the friends’ eight- and five-year-old daughters. Odom wore a shirt with a message that was “intended to be a statement supporting same-sex marriage,” reported the paper. As the group entered the park, an employee taking tickets told Odom that she would have to turn her shirt inside out. “I questioned why,” she recalled to the Sentinel, “and he told me because it was a family park.”

While Odom complied, she and Tipton later contacted “the recently formed Campaign for Southern Equality, a support group for gay, lesbian and transgender people who are the subject of discrimination, harassment or violence,” the Sentinel reported. “The campaign’s Jasmine Beach-Ferrera suggested the couple write a letter to [Dollywood] as a first step.”

Dolly Parton’s Dollywood theme park has made some unwanted headlines after a lesbian visiting the park with her partner was asked to turn her T-shirt, which included the message “Marriage Is So Gay,” inside out to avoid offending other park patrons. In early July, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel, same-sex partners Olivier Odom and Jennifer Tipton visited the park with some friends, including the friends’ eight- and five-year-old daughters. Odom wore a shirt with a message that was “intended to be a statement supporting same-sex marriage,” reported the paper. As the group entered the park, an employee taking tickets told Odom that she would have to turn her shirt inside out. “I questioned why,” she recalled to the Sentinel, “and he told me because it was a family park.”

While Odom complied, she and Tipton later contacted “the recently formed Campaign for Southern Equality, a support group for gay, lesbian and transgender people who are the subject of discrimination, harassment or violence,” the Sentinel reported. “The campaign’s Jasmine Beach-Ferrera suggested the couple write a letter to [Dollywood] as a first step.”

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