Bert and Ernie are not gay. Sesame Street confirmed the two characters' relationship status, appropriately, in a Facebook post on Thursday. "Bert and Ernie are best friends," the statement reads. "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."
The statement comes in response to a petition from Change.org for PBS to out the two so that they can married in the name of gay rights. "We are not asking that Sesame Street do anything crude or disrespectful," reads the petition, which garnered just over 5,600 signatures. "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." Inevitably, not everybody agreed that Change.org's approach was the right one.