Following the legalization of gay marriage in New York, a Change.org petition is calling for official wedded bliss for one of the world’s most famous same-sex couples: Sesame Street’s Ernie and Bert.
I’m all for gay marriage. As the joke goes, I believe homosexuals have every right to be just as miserable as the rest of us. And I think New York’s decision in June to legalize same-sex marriage is absolutely fabulous. But Ernie and Bert? Seriously?
“In this horrific age of LGBT kids taking their own lives, they need to know that they ARE BEAUTIFUL and their lives are worth living,” the “Let Ernie and Bert Get Married on Sesame Street” petition at Change.org reads. “We are not asking that Sesame Street do anything crude or disrespectful. Only that they allow Bert & Ernie to marry or even add a transgender character to the show. It can be done in a tasteful way. Let us teach tolerance of those that are different. Let Sesame Street and PBS Kids be a big part in saving many worthy lives.”
“A lot of people have wondered about Bert and Ernie,” petition creator Lair Scott told ABC News. “Living in the same bedroom and the same home would make anyone question their sexuality.”
I’m not quite so convinced that the sexuality of a couple of felt puppets is really all that interesting to the public at large, but Sesame Street nonetheless responded with a very unambiguous statement, stating once again that Ernie and Bert are not gay.
“Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves,” the statement said. “Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics… they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.”
This is actually Scott’s second petition relating to Ernie and Bert; a few days prior he posted one calling on Sesame Street to “Out Bert and Ernie as Gay.” Predictably, what with this being the internet, a number of counter-petitions have also gone up calling on Sesame Street to leave the duo alone.