Irene says, "Among the tourists who were near Utøya on July 22, during the terrorist attack, were Hege Dalen and Toril Hansen, a married lesbian couple from Finland who deserve the title of heroines. When they heard the gunshots, they went in their boat to help. They made four trips in all, and were able to rescue about 40 teenagers from probable death."
"We were eating. Then shooting and then the awful screaming. We saw how the young people ran in panic into the lake," says Dale to HS in an interview.
The couple immediately took action and pushed the boat into Lake Tyrifjorden.
Dalen and Hansen drove the boat to the island, picked up from the water victims in shock in, the young and wounded, and transported them to the opposite shore to the mainland. Between runs they saw that the bullets had hit the right side of the boat.
Since there were so many and not all fit at once aboard, they returned to the island four times.
Why does it matter that they're married? Well, because in some jurisdictions, when the question of gay marriage comes up, those who object to it say that gay marriage is associated with low moral character and a general erosion of public ethics. It's a belief you'd have to be mad or terrified to embrace, but perhaps some of those scared or crazy people will have their hearts softened by this incredible example.
(Image: cropped, downsized thumbnail from Helsingin Sanomat, taken by Maija Tammi)