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Why America's love affair with The Simpsons is being forced out of the closet

When the actor and stand-up comedian Ellen DeGeneres revealed her homosexuality on her own prime-time television comedy a few years ago, the occasion was seen in Hollywood - and all over America - as a Big Deal.

Little such cultural significance is likely to be read into the outing of one of the principal characters on 'The Simpsons', promised for next season on Sky One. But that doesn't mean fans of the long-running, reliably irreverent cartoon show aren't having a lot of fun working themselves into a speculative frenzy anyway.

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