Wednesday, August 17, 2011

NY State to Wed Long-Alleged Lovers Bert and Ernie?

After the ratification of gay marriage in NY, many gay rights advocates are pushing for NY to make honest Muppets out of Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie.

Forever-roommates who don't date girls, like to take bubble baths, and quarrel like married couples, Bert and Ernie's sexual orientation has long been up for debate, because foam puppets deserve happiness, too. This, according to comedienne Paula Poundstone, should not be as disturbing as the inter-species relationship between Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy. Advocates of Bert and Ernie's relationship cite the year-long story line of human members of Sesame Street, Luis and Maria, falling in love, getting married, and having a child (1998-1999). Opponents argue this: "Sexuality and love has already been introduced into Sesame Street, and it is implied that it's okay for children to understand these concepts as long as it doesn't involve homosexual love. It's perfectly fine to talk about straight love, but not gay."

Other opponents of the alleged puppet love state this it's not discussion of the social issues they're against: it's the idea that we have to assign sexuality to puppets. In response to this, many argue that Kermit and Miss Piggy's relationship has been affirmed and out in the open.

Sesame Street gently denies allegations of any homosexual relationship between Bert and Ernie, and claim that they were created to "demonstrate to children that despite their differences, they can be good friends." The combination of Bert's unibrow and Type A personality and Ernie's rooun stomach and much more lackadaisical attitude make them the Odd Couple of the puppet world. But is friendship really where Bert and Ernie's relationship ends?

Bert and Ernie's affinity for each other is salient and uncontested, but advocates want more. They want equal rights for the allegedly not-just-bffls, and have gone so far as to create a petition encouraging NY state to wed the pair. According to its creators, Lair Scott, Shane Cowart, Alex Maggs, and Mark Szabo, the petition, which received over 7,000 signatures, “would show children and their parents that not only is it acceptable but also teach children that homophobia is wrong, bullying is wrong and that Sesame Street should recognize that there are LGBT relationships, families, and include them in their show.”

1 comment:

  1. Ernie is way to immature to get married, it doesn't matter who the spouse would be. I'd support a same-sex couple moving on to Sesame Street though. I doubt kids would even think anything of it. Esme has had several friends with two moms as long as she can remember and I don't think she ever thought anything about it.