Sesame Street: Bert and Ernie Are ‘Just Friends’ In Response To Online Marriage Petition

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Bert and Ernie have been teaching New Yorkers for decades about friendship on Sesame Street, but could they be more than just friends? An online petition is calling for the cohabitating puppet duo to get married.

“I think that would be amazing actually, bigger than William and Kate’s wedding in England, right?” Mike Connolly of Yonkers told CBS 2’s Kristin Thorne.

More than 4,000 people have signed the petition on the website “Let Bert & Ernie Get Married On Sesame Street” says that the move would teach tolerance and acceptance to the shows young viewers.

In response to all of the online buzz, the PBS show posted the following statement on its Facebook page:

“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 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.”

New York is the largest state in the Union to allow gay marriage.

LINK: Read the petition

“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,” wrote Lair Scott of Oak Park, Il., who originated the petition.

The idea has gotten folks in the Big Apple talking.

“I never got the whole gay thing. I think two guys could live together without being gay, but if that’s the direction that they wanted to take it, take their relationship a little bit further, then sure, why not?” said tourist Andrean Clark of Portland, Oregon.

“It think it’s cute,” said Margie Louis of Queens.

The petition sparked some online reaction as well: A series of other petitions that are shooting down the idea. One says “Don’t allow us (as a society) to sexualize the two icons of childhood.”

Sesame Street’s creators have not issued a formal response. In the past when the issue has come up, the show’s creators have said Bert and Ernie are just friends, and as puppets do not exist below the waist.

What do you think of the petition? Sound off in our comments section below…

  • elmos gaytoo

    whos the pitcher and whos the catcher?

  • M.A.D


  • bullett

    What about Rose Ann & Miss Piggy?

  • Mimi

    Jim Henson has to be spinning in his grave over this…

  • Bigbyrd

    They work at PBS, duh…don’t you watch TV? jeesh…

  • Bob Fowler

    After thinking a bit more about this, I agree with Joe blow!!

    I do though believe that, in order to stop this type of stupidity from returning, we should mandate that if any single group is included in anything, all other groups must be given equal time in the exact same forum. Shows like the BJ’s would have needed to be 6 days long. New episodes of Big Brother would be weeks long.

    Is it possible for anyone to allow anyone else to have anything that isn’t corrupted? If you want Ernie and Bert to get married, start a new show of your own. Put it on LOGO.

  • Joe blow!

    How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid How stupid

    • William

      So what’s your point?? Just kiddin’ that was a good one… and right to the point!!

  • how stupid

    How stupid

  • TomNJ

    How would you like it when your 6 year old come to you and says “i want to marry Johnny like on TV?” Or you come home to find your boy and his friend holding hands like on TV? Outrageous! What twisted mind even comes up with this stuff?

  • mj

    some people have WAY too much time on their hands . if THIS is your BIGGEST concern, go do something useful with your time …. go out to the hi way and pick up plastic bottles … just do SOMETHING and get off your computer

  • Patricia

    NO marriage! Do NOT sexualize 2 best freinds living together, this show is geared to small children at a time in their lives when such topics shouldn’t be in the forefront; to children Bert and Ernie are 2 boys that are friends that are teaching them how to be better kids. You CAN be just 2 guys living together and NOT be gay. You CAN be 2 guys that are just friends and not be gay. Don’t drag “alternative lifesyle” issues into childrens shows. Leave the children ALONE.

  • TJ

    Bert and Ernie are friends are we created to be friends. Being Gay is not Cool, not hip, not the trend. Stop trying to force the “GAY” popularity on things that were not intended to be gay. if Sesame street wants to introduce gay characters fine, but you cant make two characters who have been around forever to now be gay. it doesnt make sense at all. by the way, kids young that watch sesame street do not need any sexual influence at all. Innocent love and care including within two straight guy friends is ok. GAYS, GET OVER YOURSELVES. You dont deserve any further recognition than you already command. Your clothing, attitude and crying over your everyday drama is enough.



    • ayanna ayeni

      I agree full Tj!!! why just don’t leave it like it was an educational program.. What is the big thing now since they allow gay marriage in NYC.. they want everyone to marry including puppets.. I know my son will not be watching Sesame Street anymore if that happens.!!

  • Bob Fowler

    Isn’t it odd that people who do not want to do anything more than live happily with each other, and have the same rights as hetero couples, need to force their opinions and lifestyle into something as basic as Sesame Street? Now that gays have the right to marry, does that mean that everything must now include gay couples? I guess the right to free expression is only a right if you are a member of the group that wants these rights.

    What’s next? Must gay life be taught in schools? Must gay life be included in all advertising? Must the gay pride flag hand in the Oval office in front of the US flag? Give an inch, and watch a yard disappear.

    • Bob Fowler

      Punctuation would help, but, you obviously didn’t understand my comments. I do not want Sesame Street corrupted by a forced gay rights message. I do not think that gays have the right to force their opinion into every facet of our lives.
      Would everyone accept the instilling of a weekly church revival meeting in Sesame Street? How about making a Klan meeting part of Saturday morning cartoons?
      Because a person is gay, does not entitle them to have every part of their lives transformed to conform to their way of thinking any more than a bigot, racist, religious, or immigrant does.

    • jennifer

      So go live happy we want to live happy too dont try changing us because you have changedyou believe in what you believe in and we believe in what we believe in cant we live happily too you want to be happy and the rest of dont no one is stoping you leave our kids alone, and if everyone should live your lifestyle there would be no kids to teach because even if your adopting because you and your boyfriend cant make children, no one is stoping you from being happy,so why do you want us to be unhappy, be gay who cares just leave the children out of it .you guys could get married now great am happy for you to each is own ok.


    This is disgusting! Why would anyone use a children’s TV program for exploitation purposes? This is a show that teaches children how to count, how to say the alphabet, how to share, and most importantly about friendship. Can someone please inform these idiots who signed the petition that the majority of children who watch Sesame Street are in the developmental stage of their learning, its a sensitive time for children and they have no right to ruin that for them!

    • Bob Fowler

      It is this best time though to introduce them into a lifestyle that they would not otherwise be exposed to. The worst part though is, that 2% of the population will get to force 98% to submit to their desires.

      • Bob Fowler

        Jenny-cakes, may I push in your stool?

      • jennifer

        BOB again dont tell us how to raise our kids,if we dont want to teach our kids at toddler age to learn about sex we dont have to leave our children alone they dont have to think about those things right now its a mommy and daddy brought them here not a mommy and a mommy or daddy and adaddy be what you want to be leave our kids alone you pervert.

  • Reverend Rev

    Bert and Ernie are NOT a gay couple – notice the separate beds. They’re sharing a small apartment to save on rent, just like Felix and Oscar on The Odd Couple. (The realities of Manhattan real estate haven’t changed in 40 years!!)

    What I want to know is… How can these two characters afford the rent? What do they do for a living?

  • TL

    I grew up with Bert and Ernie, but I’m not sure if this is the right route to go. There are bigger petitions to sign at this point regarding gay marriage, such as the one in support of Anthony Makk. If something isn’t done, he will be deported from the United States after being here for 2 decades simply because the Defense of Marriage Act does not recognize his marriage with Bradford Wells as a legal bind. Here’s my blog in support of Anthony, a link to the CNN article and also a link to the petition at!

    • Bob Fowler

      Anthony is being forced to leave America because he is gay?!?!?!

      Why do I think that Anthony has been living here as an illegal, and that is probably why he is being deported? When a Mexican does what Anthony is trying to do, we scream about anchor babies. Anthony, the laws are for everyone, even gays. Enjoy your trip back home.

    • Bill

      Sorry TL, but not allowing Bert & Ernie to get gay married IS the bigger issue!!

      • jennifer

        BIll i bet you dont have any kids, you jerk, stop trying to change the kids you dont tell us how to raise our kids, kids should grow up and make there own decision who they want to be i have gay friends but i want you to go and have some kids with ur boyfriend dont adopt make some and then raise them the way you want to ok you jerk.

      • TL

        haha okay Bill. :) I guess what I’m trying to say is the current TIME pressing issue. Anthony is being forced to leave August 25th!

        But I wasn’t trying to say that Bert and Ernier aren’t important. After all, it was our childhood!

  • Ant928

    As I remember watching Sesame Street the issue of marriage in GENERAL was never discussed…so why force a gay marriage. Now I’m not against gay marriage…all for it in fact…but is Sesame Street the proper place to be teaching sexuality/relationships?

    Yes children must be educated…but this ain’t the place.

  • It's a Radical Right Ruse, Fools

    This petition has to have been started for veiled reasons.
    Someone knew this would cause a stir and
    1) get angry people even angrier about gay marriage
    2) Give ammo to those who want to kill PBS
    Something this ridiculous could have only been birthed by the radical right. Anyone with any sense whatsoever realizes that Sesame Street is for toddlers…who do not yet need role models in the realm of human sexuality.

    • IgnoranteElephante

      And, your evidence of this is where?

  • snowdog

    Adults really don’t get it sometimes. Children DO NOT think like us. Adults should stay out of a child’s world. When I was watching sesame street some 30 years ago, I didn’t see two “guys” living together when I saw Bert & Ernie. I didn’t even know they LIVED together and I certainly didn’t even know their sexual orientation. It was simply two puppets on the TV talking to each other and it was a fun show to watch. Children don’t have the knowledge or understanding of the adult world and could care less if they were married or not.

  • Reed

    I’m gay and I don’t see the point in this. I remember S.S. from the 70’s when I was wee lad and I don’t EVER remember being concerned over who was married. I think, like many of us probably, we watched it, learned our A B C’s, learned counting etc. We don’t need muppets imidating real life.

    As for the comment regarding young people (children) having a gay person/muppet to look up to, again, I just don’t beleive a child of 3, 4, 5 or 6 is very worried about Bert and Ernie being married. Marriage isn’t even in their radar at that point. Leave Bert and Ernie alone.

  • Remember These Books?

    Elmo has 2 Mommies.

    Kermit’s Roommate.

  • Justin

    I’m gay and this is wrong. Just like gay marriage is wrong.

  • D

    Odd couple.

    In a way, that opens another question: do two people have to be sexually related for a “marriage” to be valid? How about a widower and father-in-law who have lived in the same house for years – and have a deep familial relationship? Shouldn’t they be entitled to the same benefits as other married people?

  • KiKi

    HEY LET’S NOT LEAVE OUT- Bugs & Daffy, COURAGEOUS CAT & MINUTE MOUSE, pinky & the brain, abbot & costelllo, heckle & jeckle, charlie brown & snoopy,batman & robin.

    Why don’t we all get married and say that we’re gay?

    ASS hole of an idea!!!

    • C'mon Everybody!

      Hey! You forgot Spongebob & Patrick, Cagney & Lacey, Laverne & Shirley, Tango & Cash, MacGruder & Loud, Fred & Barney, Oprah & Gayle…

      • mj

        what about barnes and noble and sears and roebuck and raymour and flanigan ? i’m NOT even going to mention gumby and pokey

  • mimi




    • MIKE


      HOW ABOUT THAT!!!!!

  • Marie





  • Joe

    Does Bert and Ernie acted guy? I don’t thinking so. Look at the Teletubbies the one with the bag he carries around with him. Tinky Winky Now he is gay. Why can he get marry on his show.

  • Amy

    Did they ever have any puppets marry on Sesame Street? get real! Why start with a gay marriage. Why are we over sexualizing kids at such a young age now?
    Do you really think it is a necessity for babies and toddlers to have to understand the concept of gay marriage or even being gay? Let them first learn the alphabet!
    They learn enough at very young ages as is. The innocence of childhood that once was is no more. Lets not take away even more ….

  • HaterofRubbish

    pure folly. Its a kids programs. let the program be about kids and not the adults who believe perversions of nature are ok.

  • AnabelQ

    Ernie and Bert represents childhood….. Children have been learning from them early on….. and will be learning from them for decades to come…… Do you think these children even has any clue or care in the world about what’s going on with your lifestyle??…… All they care about are ABC ‘s and 123’s….. So just leave Ernie and Bert the way they are…… 2 happy, silly friends living together. PERIOD.

  • Omar

    Really? Pushing to get two muppets to be married? That’s what this whole debate has come down to? Listen, Sesame Street is neither the place or format to teach kids about sexuality. It’s bad enough that we want our kids to be grown adults at 3 or 4 years old.

    You want your kids to learn about tolerance to gays? You teach them yourself. Stop trying to have muppets do your job as a parent for you. I don’t need to have my son and daughter confused because you are unable to do your job as a parent.

  • e sommerman

    Please leave our children with SOME innocence. We as a society have created so many problems that they must handle as the grow up let us leave them with at least a few years of carefree youth. Jim Henson is surly turning in his grave to hear this as even a possability.

  • robert

    They’re friggin’ puppets!

    • MIKE


  • Victoria

    I grew up watching sesame street and never even gave a thought to Bert and Ernie’s sexuality. Do not confuse the children by cramming gay marriage down their throats at such a young age. Leave Bert and Ernie be, they are just friends and nothing more should be read into it, they sleep in separate beds. Society is ruining the innocence of children.

  • conservative

    Leave Bert and Ernie alone. You are turning something innocent into something to complicated at a young age!

  • Bell Toller

    Thas is in bad taste for children

  • Dave Castellano

    Pretty simple Burt and Ernie are not living breathing species so they can not have feelings one way or another they are symbols for kids to attach to as they grow and learn neither have a true sex defined so once and for all get off it with the equal rights let them be as they were written to be just great friends,they teach the kids tons by being just that!!!

    • lydiass

      I don’t care how gays live their lives. But why do gays have to push their way of living on the rest of us. I don’t go around telling gays to be straight. I am a 26 years old nurse, young and beautiful. Now I am seeking an older gentle man who can give me real love , so i got a username Annababe2011 on—a’ge’l’es’s’da’te. C óM—it is the first and best club for y’ounger women and older men, or older women and younger men,to int’eract with each other. Maybe you wanna ch’eck it out or tell your friends.

  • RJP

    Gays don’t want anybody to make any remarks about there life style, but they got no problem shoving on the rest of us. And sesame street your done at my house and anyone that is in business with you!

  • TOm the BomB

    Bert and Ernie are one of the longest committed domestic partnerships in the world, so we should let them get married if they want to. ( Now that all the ignorant, uneductaed people’s heads have spun off their axis lets get to the facts)

    Gays have has had heterosexual / straight life (and “values) pushed on them their whole lives. After decades, maybe centuries of trying – people now can actually learn real, factual information about people who are gay instead of misinformation, and stereotypes.

    Children should be EDUCATED from an early age that people are different. AND that if someone is different because of their race, religion, econmic status, sexual orientation, gender identity or other reasons that is OK. You don’t have to like them or understand them or be like them. BUT – you should respect them as a human being and not treat them as asecond class citizen, bully them, discriminate against them, or commit violence against them.

    I will agree that Sesame Street may or may not be the venue for educating kids on THIS particular subject but we need EDUCATION for kids to learn things correctly so they can grow up to be smarter adults than we are.

    Tom (the bomb)

    • IgnoranteElephante

      I could not agree with Tom the BomB more. These poor gays had fringe ideas like heterosexual sex and reproduction for too long.

      I say let them get married, but that’s not far enough. Make Bert have AIDS and Ernie be a recovering heroin user. Further, beef up the plot so that their basement apartment doubles as a Planned Parenthood, where they work by day, that includes and STD education center. For too long, now, AIDs victims and drug addicts have had healthy clean lifestyles pushed on them.

      Some new episode ideas could be Big Bird brings in an underage girl that he knocked up or Oscar wants Ernie to look at strange abscess that developed on his nether regions. Tellie Monster confides in Bert that he has feelings for Elmo and a rapidly thinning Snuffleupagus admits that he has an out of control crack addiction would all be great ideas too.


      Hey Bomb, Did you even consider that instead of they’re relationship being a DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP, they are roomates?? or are Heckle & Jeckle, Tom & Jerry, Laurel & Hardy all in Domestic Partnerships TOO?? It’s up to us when and if we will go into details about GAY relationships… Sesame Street and Kindergarten are not the forum… they can barely grasp the concept of Mommy, Daddy, baby Lisa and Cocoa the puppy at this age… but, if you had children, you might understand that…. Parents will always have the dominate say on this CANT FORCE THIS ISSUE!!. PERIOD THE END!!!

  • Truth? Not On This Site

    CBS does not want a free exchange of ideas. It is a front for all the wrong ideas and it is for totalitarianism. Watch out people. You are all being fed pablum and being lied to. Hey CBS, how many more of my clean, unvulgar posts are you not going to post just because I oppose your non straight agenda?

  • William

    You see, this is how some in the gay community just take it TOO FAR!! Ok, let us live as you, fine…. let us get married, OK… but there seem to be NO BOUNDARIES AT ALL…. It’s rediculous that this story even gets the press from CBS… but then again it should be expected..I know I’m over reacting- Miss Piggy is really a lesbian, right??? UNREAL!!! God protect our kids!!

  • MIKE




  • Babar

    Shame on you!

  • jennifer

    these are the things why i realy think the world is coming to an end even if i did not want to believe it ,you people is saying that its the same thing as being racist againts black but its not in the bible its not right in god sight its not right god made us black he did not make people gay most gay people got molested when they where small and then they turn other people out mest there mind up they dont know what they really are,now on our money we say in god we trust is that so,you people is suing everyone for freedom of speech people is scared of saying anything,to each is own but i have rights too and what if i dont want my children to believe in these thingsam i gonna have to stop my kids from watching tv and top them from going to school would they want to lock me up thats not fair they could do what they want to do but dont force other people to do so some of us have to stay straight so the human race wont die out like the dinasourds.leave the children alone so that they could deside what they want to be this is getting out of control now.i grew up on sesame street and my children watches it too . 2of the same sex cant have kids i dont care what they do judt leave the kids out of it please thank you.

  • Matt

    I loved sesame street…now society wants to go and ruin it…leave it up to parents/religion/school or whatever to teach kids about sexual orientation when they are ready! do not put it into their mind at a young age…

  • Michael

    As someone who is gay, I disagree. These are childrens shows. These are childrens characters. 5 year olds watch this. too young for our lifestyle. As a person who lives the gay lifestyle, we hate when people try to force things on us, why are we doing that to them now. We dont need Bert and Ernie to be married for us to feel better about our selves.

    • Really

      Wow. So there is hope. Thank you for being reasonable and sharing.

  • OMG!!!!!!!!!!

    I don’t care how gays live their lives. But why do gays have to push their way of living on the rest of us. I don’t go around telling gays to be straight. I don’t want my kids to think when you grow up that a man is supposed to be with a man and a woman is supposed to be with a woman. DON”T FORCE THE WAY YOU LIVE ON THE REST OF US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • TomNJ

    What a joke


    What is this world coming to??? Leave ernie and bert the way they are…

  • Very conservative

    I predict that this one will get well over 100 comments. Looks like I will be the first, and will give it a simple NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

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