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Dolly Parton speaks out on gay marriage

Same-sex marriage might not be recognized in Dolly Parton's native Tennessee, but the blond bombshell supports equality for all.

"I didn’t know any gay people in my childhood. I do have a lot of gays in my family now, but some will never come out," the singer, who was one of 12 children in a Pentecostal family living in Locust Ridge, Tenn., told Britain's Event magazine, per an article featured on the Daily Mail's website.

"I think everyone should be with who they love," Parton, 68, 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!"

The country superstar has been married to her husband for almost 50 years, but she's still been the subject of gay rumors involving her close friend Judy Ogle. She has compared her relationship with Ogle to that of Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King.

"Like Gayle [King], her friend, Judy, my friend ... they just think that you just can't be that close to somebody," she said in 2012. "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."

Parton's 42nd studio album, "Blue Smoke," drops on May 13.


(Editor's note: This post was originally published on SDGLN media partner HuffPost Gay voices.)