Country legend Dolly Parton has given her support for gay marriage.

The gay icon talked to CNN’s Joy Behar on Friday about why her gay audience loves her and added that gays should have to “suffer” marriage too.

When asked why she had such a strong gay following, Parton replied: “I think its because they know I’m different too and it took me a long time be accepted. And I think that they just kind of relate to that.

“But I think they appreciate the fact that I just love everybody for who they are and we’re not supposed to try to change people, we should allow people to be who they are and love them as they are.”

Citing Parton’s religious background, Behar asked whether she was pro-gay marriage.

The singer replied: “I always say, ‘Sure, why can’t they get married? They should suffer like the rest of us do.”

When asked about her views on outspoken Texas pastor Joel Osteen, who recently said gays were “not God’s best work”, Parton said she did not usually discuss the issue in that much depth but added: “I think God made us who we are and how we are and I don’t think that if he was a religious person, that he would be judging people.”

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