Bert and Ernie of Sesame Street will not take part in a gay marriage, according to producers of the longtime PBS children’s television series. The issue came to light shortly after New York passed the historic gay marriage bill and became the first major state to do so, and many supporters pressed the producers of the series to have puppets Bert and Ernie, also based in New York, to get married.
“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 petition that was signed by over 6,000 read.
“Aside from those that are committing suicide, the bullies that facilitate these tragedies need to learn that homophobia is NOT okay. They need to know that acceptance of their fellow human beings would indeed plant a seed of peace that will reverberate throughout the world. We are not asking that ‘Sesame Street’ do anything crude or disrespectful by allowing Bert & Ernie to marry. It can be done in a tasteful way. Let us teach tolerance of those that are different.”
The iconic pair have shared a home, a bedroom, and even have had bath time together for more than 40 years and it has often been rumored by many that the two were gay. However, in a statement issued by the Facebook page of the Sesame Workshop, which produces the series, it noted that because the two are puppets, they’re not gay nor straight and they simply don’t have a sexual orientation.
“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 read.
“Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics (as most Sesame Street Muppets™ do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.”