While country music legend and gay icon Dolly Parton was in town Wednesday to promote the latest expansion of Dollywood, she took time out with the Marietta Daily Journal to address her recent headline-grabbing comments on gay marriage. And she didn’t disappoint or backtrack.

“I answer what people ask me, and when they asked me about that I just said, ‘I think people should be allowed to be who they are.’ We love who we love, and I made my joke about, well, why shouldn’t they be able to get married? Why shouldn’t they suffer like us heterosexuals, or heterosexual marriages do? So I just kind of play it off like that. But I just think it’s not my place to judge, to criticize, and I think people should be allowed — they’re going to love who they love, and if they’re going to be with who they’re going to be with, they should have whatever benefits they can have. I’m not God. I’m not a judge.”

And on gay marriage in the South:

“I don’t know when, or if anything, will ever change in the South, but I know people will never change who they love, either,” she said.

Dolly may not be aware of our recent reason for optimism, but we’ll cut her some slack. Gotta love that woman.

psaunders@thegavoice.com | @patricksaunders

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