Bert and Ernie on the cover of a sing-along record album.
Being gay and loving show tunes is a match made in stereotype hell. (Photo Credit: CC BY-SA/Bert 23/Flickr)

Sesame Workshop (formerly Children’s Television Workshop), the creators of the popular children’s program “Sesame Street,” have ruled on an issue that has gay marriage activists in a lather. A reader poll created by posed the question “Should Bert and Ernie get married?” and the majority of respondents said yes. But Sesame Workshop said no – Bert and Ernie will not tie the knot.

Tolerance for gay marriage

Bert and Ernie will not get married, despite the wishes of campaigners who claim that the union would show children that gay marriage and homosexuality in general deserve tolerance. More than 7,000 people signed the petition, while 3,000 more joined forces to create a “Bert and Ernie Get Married” page on Facebook. But the creators of the lovable puppets have the final say.

“(Bert and Ernie) remain puppets and do not have a sexual orientation,” CTW wrote in a press statement.

Confirmed bachelors who have lived together more than 40 years

Bert and Ernie have lived together for decades as best of friends. Like college roommates in a cramped dorm, they share the same bedroom, sleeping in separate single beds. The puppets were created to teach children about friendship that transcends radical differences in personality, a la “The Odd Couple” – nothing more, nothing less. implies that this is insufficient.

“We are not asking that Sesame Street do anything crude or disrespectful,” reads the survey. “It can be done in a tasteful way. Let us teach tolerance of those that are different.”

Look at all these rumors, running Bernie and Ernie everyday

The Bert and Ernie marriage petition reflects adult preoccupation with the duo’s sexual orientation. It is highly unlikly that the first question in the mind of a toddler when it comes to the two friends is “Why are they living together?” Even if a 3- or 4-year-old does ask, it probably isn’t because they’re concerned about the sexual orientation of puppets – or about sexual orientation in general.

Sesame Workshop has said that Bert and Ernie do not have a sexual orientation. According to various media quotes on the Muppets Wiki, Bert and Ernie have both said that they’re happy, but not gay. Political talking heads and religious demagogues apparently find it necessary to sexualize children’s programming. Sesame Workshop does not. If that isn’t enough proof, take this 2011 Joan Rivers tweet about the happy duo:

“There is NO WAY that Bert and Ernie are gay. They haven’t changed their outfits in 25 years.”

Bert and Ernie don’t need to be married


BBC News:

Huffington Post:

Muppet Wiki:

Sesame Workshop:

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