In June, after New York became the sixth state to legalize gay marriage, a man named Lair Scott saw an opportunity and started a petition at Change.org with the goal of seeing Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie get married. After all, they're New York residents. The petition currently has over 3,000 signatures.
Speculation about Bert and Ernie's sexual orientation has existed for almost as long as the two have shared a basement apartment at 123 Sesame Street; in other words, about forty years now. The famously unibrowed and easily frustrated Bert and his more chipper chum have always shared the same bedroom and bathroom, but do sleep in separate beds. Sesame Workshop has made it clear that Muppet genitalia, and what is done with it, is not their province. They said in a statement:
"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 the Sesame Street Muppets… possess many human traits and characteristics, they have no sexual orientation."
While Mr. Scott's effort may be a noble one, the odds of Bert and Ernie being pronounced husband and husband are long indeed. Wishing it were so, or misinterpreting innocent gestures, is just not good enough. Besides, Bert has already recorded a song about his girlfriend called "I Want to Hold Your Ear," though that could be some kind of down-low maneuver. Still, Sesame Street has already introduced Latina and HIV-positive Muppets, so they shouldn't be accused of being behind the times.