If you've ever thought that Sesame Street's perennial bachelors Bert and Ernie were more than just roommates, you're not along. Inspired by the recent decision to legalize gay marriage in New York, Illinois resident Lair Scott has started a petition for the two characters to get married.
In the letter Scott states, "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 ... 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."
Scott has also set up a Facebook page.
Time.com, points out that, "Opponents of the petition say that having Bert and Ernie marry all of a sudden could confuse children who may never have even caught on to the rumors. Would children then think that men who live together must be gay? Other critics say the move would be too political for a children's program, because these are in fact Muppets we're talking about — none of which are married or even in romantic relationships. The show is after all supposed to be about ABCs and 123s. But in the past Sesame Street has introduced a Latina Muppet as well as an HIV-positive Muppet, so producers aren't exactly ignoring cultural shifts."
I may have to agree with the first point. After all, not all men who live together are gay, or even if they are both gay or bisexual, are in romantic/sexual relationships. Perhaps the producers could introduce a gay or lesbian couple into the show instead, so kids can be exposed to both images.
What do you think? Should Bert and Ernie jump the broom? While you ponder and discuss, watch the clip that inspired the title of this post below.