Are Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie getting married?

Bert proposes to Ernie on Sesame Street

Larry King’s letterman jacket is probably the only thing that has been in the closet longer than Sesame Street bosom buddy muppets Bert and Ernie, but that may be about to change! No, Larry King didn’t get cast in a flux-capacitor-gone-wrong Back To The Future sequel – Bert and Ernie may be getting married! Or at least they will if a viral online petition gets its way.

The online petition was created on by Lair Scott of Oak Park, Illinois and already has well over 5,000 signatures at the time of this post. (There is also a Facebook page with 2,500+ likes and growing) The petition is officially titled “Let Bert & Ernie Get Married On Sesame Street” and is described by Scott this way:

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.

The petition is starting to garner the media’s attention as bloggers and celebrities are using it as a platform to discuss the touchy subject of teaching gay acceptance to children.

Tales of The City
author Armisted Maupin tweeted in reaction to people’s concerns over the potential marriage adding a sexual charge to the famous children’s show:

The folks who fret that a wedding between Bert and Ernie would “sexualize” a kids’ show were remarkably silent about a frog porking a pig.

@ReignofApril offered passionate opposition to the union:

Let me be really clear. Bert & Ernie R my childhood icons. Leave them be. They R roommates, nothing more. I will go ninja all over U.

To be honest, I think a wedding would be jumping the gun a bit. I’m not opposed to having a married gay couple on a children’s show like Sesame Street, but just from a screenwriter’s standpoint they need to address the closet issue first. B & E need to explain what it was that made them feel they needed to keep their true relationship a secret for over 40 years before we spring nuptials on these kids!

So what I recommend is that you first go sign the “Out Bert and Ernie as Gay” petition (also started by Lair Scott) and “like” that Facebook group before moving on to the marriage one.

So what do you think? Should Bert and Ernie tie the knot? Should a kids’ program feature a gay couple? Would the whole concept be easier to swallow if one of the two involved was a well known flaming homosexual? For example, Adam Lambert and Ernie?

Sesame Street muppet mashup Adam Lambert and Ernie

Plus, there’s all this talk about Bert and Ernie when there’s another closeted muppet couple no one is talking about, who have been climbing Brokeback Mountain since before the Great Depression!

Statler and Waldorf two old guys in the balcony from The Muppet Show

Statler and Waldorf watched and criticized musicals together for 40 years. Mmmm hmmm.

I’m just sayin’!

UPDATE – The producers of Sesame Street have issued an official response to the Bert and Ernie marriage petition with this post on the Sesame Workshop Facebook page:

Sesame Workshop Statement on Bert and Ernie Petitions

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.

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.

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