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Will a Dolly Parton statue replace a Confederate memorial in Tennessee’s capitol?

Dolly Parton arriving to "Joyful Noise" Los Angeles Premeire on January 19, 2012 in Hollywood, CA
Dolly Parton arriving to "Joyful Noise" Los Angeles Premeire on January 19, 2012 in Hollywood, CA Photo: Shutterstock

The Tennessee capitol building has honored former Klu Klux Klan leader and former Confederate soldier Nathan Bedford Forrest for decades. As legislators search for a potential replacement for his memorial, they’ve hit upon a potential candidate: country music legend Dolly Parton.

The popular singer is known for steering clear of politics and bringing her sassy brand of cheerful love for all. Parton is also a strong supporter of LGBTQ rights.

Related: Video of a 2-year-old singing ‘Jolene’ goes viral & reaches Dolly Parton

The statue to Forrest has been a flashpoint for years and soundly mocked nationwide for the memorial to a blatant racist. Support for removing the statue was bipartisan.

“If we want to preserve history, then let’s tell it the right way. Right now there are eight alcoves [in the Capitol]. Seven are filled with white men,” said state representatives Jeremy Faison. “How about getting a lady in there? My daughter is 16, and I would love for her to come into the Capitol and see a lady up there. What’s wrong with Anne Dallas Dudley getting in that alcove? What’s wrong with someone like Dolly Parton being put in that alcove?”

In 2016, Parton told Larry King that she gets pushback from Christian fans about her support of LGBTQ people. But, rather than dance around the issue, she said she calls them out on their un-Christian attitudes and behaviors.

“I keep saying, ‘If you’re the fine Christian that you think you are, why are you judging people?’ That’s God’s job,” she explained. “We’re not God, we’re not judges, we’re supposed to love one another, we’re supposed to not judge.”

“I’ve got too much work to do in my own to try to do God’s work too,” she added.

“I just think that we should be more loving, more caring. We are who we are. If you’re gay, you’re gay. If you’re straight, you’re straight. And you should be allowed to be how you are and who you are.”

“I still get threats,” Parton told Nightline last year. “But like I said, I’m in business. I just don’t feel like I have to explain myself. I love everybody.”


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