Jonathan Chait

Life Imitates The Simpsons

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News from England:

A married gay couple subjected to years of homophobic abuse by a neighbour saved his life during a deadly house fire.

Bryn and James Tudor made headlines in 2005 when they became the first homosexual couple to tie the knot in a civil partnership in Birmingham. But they were later subjected to three years of abuse at their home in Shirley by their next door neighbour, Baljit Koonar. Koonar, 29, was handed an 18 month supervision order when he appeared in court last week and was also ordered to pay £150 compensation to his victims.

Yet just weeks [later] he and his family were rescued from a terrifying blaze by the big-hearted couple he had abused. James said: “I was sleeping when something woke me up at around 5am. I could taste smoke in the back of my mouth. I couldn’t see anything out of the front window, but when I went to the back there was smoke billowing out of next door and the family were on the roof. Baljit was on there with his wife, their two young kids and the children’s grandmother. I shouted to them to stay calm and rushed down into the back garden.”

One of the Tudors’ neighbours found a ladder and a rescue operation began. James said: “We managed to get them down off the roof and brought them into our living room..."

From the 1997 episode "Homer's Phobia," after a gay man, voiced by John Waters, has saved Homer's life:

John: Homer, I won your respect, and all I had to do was save your life. Now, if every gay man could just do the same, you'd be set.

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