There's a new petition on Change.org to "Let Bert & Ernie Get Married On Sesame Street." The petition reads as such:
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. 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. 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.
Okay, sure, we understand where the petition is coming from. And yeah, children absolutely need to be told that they are loved regardless of their sexual orientation, height, weight, sex, and so forth. But a big gay wedding on Sesame Street? Why are we assuming Bert and Ernie are gay in the first place? (Related: Why are we looking at two felt puppets as sexual beings?) Also, we've been told repeatedly by people at the show that Bert and Ernie are just friends! The New York Daily News reports,
Getting hitched would change things for Ernie, who has long sang about how his bath toy, Rubber Duckie, "was the one." A debate over the sexuality of Sesame Street's most famous duo has dogged the show since Bert and Ernie first appeared in 1969. The puppet pair sleep next to each other and bicker almost as much as a married couple.
But the producers of Sesame Street say Bert and Ernie's relationship is purely platonic. "Bert and Ernie are best friends," the non-profit Sesame Workshop said in a statement. "They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves. "Even though the Sesame Street Muppets ... possess many human traits and characteristics, they have no sexual orientation."
Right, because these two puppets aren't actually people, remember? Moreover, is it even worth showing a gay marriage to kids if it's not even real? Maybe we should try to concentrate our efforts on allowing gays to legally wed throughout our entire country.
Online push for Bert, Ernie to have gay wedding on 'Sesame Street' [NY Daily News]
Bert And Ernie Aren't Not Married Because Of Intolerance [Videogum]
Let Bert & Ernie Get Married On Sesame Street [Change.org]