SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The producers of public television’s “Sesame Street” on Thursday publicly rejected a San Francisco-based group’s online petition campaign to allow a same-sex marriage between characters Bert and Ernie on the longstanding children’s show.

The Children’s Television Workshop, in a statement posted on Sesame Street’s Facebook page, indicated that marriage between the two “best friends” was out of the question because puppets “do not have a sexual orientation.”

In their petition entitled “Let Bert & Ernie Get Married On Sesame Street,” the group said it could help “put an end to the bullying and suicides of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and trasngender) youth.”

The petition added that “[w]e are not asking that Sesame Street do anything crude or disrespectful by allowing Bert & Ernie to marry.” It also suggested that the show “even add a transgender character… in a tasteful way.”

But in their statement Thursday, the CTW said Bert and Ernie “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,” the statement concluded.

The two characters — who were first debuted in the original “Sesame Street” pilot episode in July 1969 — have long been depicted as bickering best friends who sleep in the same room together, but in separate beds.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (7)
  1. . says:

    What a bunch of wackos.

    1. mechanic says:

      Whacko’s is an understatement! The group has long been a disrupting factor in school matters, and other matters that they think they can reconstruct our culture. The Pink Hand is to be feared by many in positions of power.

  2. Marty says:

    It would make more sense to create a different character altogether. The idea is to promote tolerance and understanding to children. We don’t anymore bullying and suicides of young LGBT people.

  3. Brian says:

    I am all for same sex marriage. But please people. Leave Burt and Ernie alone.
    If you want to have same sex children shows, Get an imagination and create your own. Do not try re create the past. Initiate a future.

  4. Lisa says:

    They’re like “The Odd Couple”!! They are best friends, they can’t get married, that would be so dumb! I applaud Children’s Television Workshop for saying no to this ridiculous notion. Anyway it’s not like someone who’s going to bully an LGBT youth is going to stop and think, “Gosh, Bert and Ernie are my idols, so same-sex marriage is definitely OK and now I respect people who do it.” That’s waaaay too big of a leap.

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