Dolly Parton issued a new decree to her Christian fans, and to judgmental Christians in general: Stop judging gay people.
In an old interview with Larry King, the eternal Queen of Country Music said, “If you’re the fine Christian that you think you are, why are you judging people?’ That’s God’s job.”
The words are sure to strike a chord with her Christian fans, who have long plagued the singer with questions about her ongoing, active support of the LGBTQ community.
Dolly wasn’t finished there. “If you’re gay, you’re gay. If you’re straight, you’re straight,” she said. “And you should be allowed to be how you are and who you are.”
Compassion and empathy have always been a mainstay of Dolly’s career, and the singer/actress has founded several programs and initiatives that back her up moral compass. Dolly also told Larry that she’s “got too much work to do” to try and do “God’s work, too.”
Dolly Parton has been a longtime advocate for LGBTQ rights. Her enthusiasm for her LGBTQ fans knows no bounds. In fact, she once entered a Dolly Parton lookalike drag contest and ended up losing, which delighted her. She said, “At a Halloween contest years ago on Santa Monica Boulevard where all the guys were dressed up like me and I just overexaggerated my look and went in and just walked up on stage. … I didn’t win.”
The new interview isn’t the first time Dolly has addressed her Christian fans head-on about judgment. In 2014, she said, “[Dollywood is] a place for entertainment, a place for all families, period. It’s for all that. But as far as the Christians, if people want to pass judgment, they’re already sinning. The sin of judging is just as bad as any other sin they might say somebody else is committing. I try to love everybody.”
And her 1991 song “Family” was notable at the time for its pro-LGBTQ family lyrics. “Some are preachers / some are gay / some are addicts, drunks and strays / But not a one is turned away when it’s family.”
When Australia was debating legalizing same-sex marriage, Dolly was inevitably asked her thoughts. She joked with ABC’s News Breakfast, “Why can’t they be as miserable as us heterosexuals in their marriages?” before quickly adding, “Hey, I think love is love and we have no control over that … I think people should be allowed to [marry].”
Dolly used the joke again in 2016, telling Event magazine, “I think everyone should be with who they love,” Dolly continued. “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. I think gay couples should be allowed to marry. They should suffer just like us heterosexuals. Ha ha ha!”
Dolly and her best friend Judy Ogle have themselves been the subject of lesbian rumors for decades. She once explained to Event magazine, “Like Gayle [King], [Oprah’s] friend, Judy, my friend … they just think that you just can’t be that close to somebody. Judy and I have been best friends since we were like in the third and fourth grade. We still just have a great friendship and relationship and I love her as much as I love anybody in the whole world, but we’re not romantically involved.”