Dolly Parton: Gays 'should suffer just like us heterosexuals'

Dolly Parton performs live in Perth, Australia, Feb. 27, 2014.
Dolly Parton performs live in Perth, Australia, Feb. 27, 2014.

Country music icon Dolly Parton is singing praises for same-sex marriage once again, saying “everyone should be with who they love.”

“I don’t want to be controversial or stir up a bunch of trouble but people are going to love who they are going to love,” the 68-year-old superstar recently told the British outlet Event in an article featured on the Daily Mail website.

“I think gay couples should be allowed to marry. They should suffer just like us heterosexuals,” she joked.

Parton, who has been married to her husband Carl Dean for nearly 50 years, has been a long-time supporter of LGBT rights and has hosted “Gay Days” at her theme-park Dollywood.

The singer said didn’t know any gay people growing up in her home state of Tennessee, but she has “a lot of gays in [her] family now, but some will never come out.”

Tennessee does not currently recognize same-same marriage. 

In February, the gay rights group Freedom to Marry launched a $1 million campaign targeting southerners in 14 states, including Tennessee, to help pave the way for equal protections and benefits currently denied to hundreds of thousands of gay couples.