In response to an online petition to have Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie get married and become poster puppets for the gay marriage movement, the company behind the children’s TV series has issued a statement basically saying hell no.

An online petition to have Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie come out of the closet and get married was launched online by Lair Scott of Oak Park, Illinois. As of this post, the petition has gathered over 7,500 signatures.

Bert and Ernie, of course, have been the subject of many gay jokes and innuendos over the years. The two ‘male’ characters live together, sleep in the same room, are physically affectionate and spend all their time together. They also argue and fight like a couple rather often.

The petition reads, in part:

“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. Aside from those that are committing suicide, the bullies that facilitate these tragedies need to learn that homophobia is NOT okay. They need to know that acceptance of their fellow human beings would indeed plant a seed of peace that will reverberate throughout the world. 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.”

Sesame Workshop, however, is having none of it. The non-profit organization behind Sesame Street released a press statement basically saying there was no way the two children’s characters were going to go gay and get married.

In a statement posted on Facebook, Sesame Workshop said:

“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 Muppetsâ„¢ do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.”

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