Parton generally isn't a hotbed of political activism herself. She's no Dixie Chicks. No Bruce Springsteen. Certainly no Rage Against the Machine. But there is one political issue she's willing to speak out on, and for someone who is immersed in some of the deepest red parts of the United States, her involvement is not insignificant.
That would be gay rights. And when it comes to supporting gay rights, she comes down with a pretty simple yet universal message: gay rights are human rights.
Huh, maybe someone could pass that message along to the dozens of countries that still execute or imprison queer folks because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
Speaking to The Times, Parton responded to a question about how she justifies having an annual Gay Day at her amusement park, the beloved Dollywood, which is right-smack in the middle of the Bible Belt.
"I’m not a poster child for gay rights by any means," Parton says. "But I have so many gay and lesbian friends and they’re just so pure and so true. That’s not politics to me. That’s human rights.”
Parton's not the lone country star who has said similar things. Reba McEntire made news last year when she said that gay marriage was kosher in her house, and Martina McBride has also challenged country music to be a little more accepting of LGBT folks.
And then there's Miley Cyrus, who isn't really country anymore, but certainly counts as a mega music star. She's Parton's god-daughter, and like her godmother, she's also on board with full equal rights for LGBT folks.Who would have thought that country music would be progressing far more than Washington these days?