Let Bert and Ernie Stay Single

Backers of gay marriage hate idea: Opinion roundup
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 10, 2011 7:22 PM CDT
From left, Zoe, Ernie and Bert.   (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
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(Newser) – An online petition by Change.org to have Bert and Ernie get married on Sesame Street is generating lots of buzz but also plenty of criticism—including from those who support same-sex marriage:

  • Nicole Fabian-Weber, the Stir: "Utterly stupid idea." Why? "They're puppets. They bicker, sing songs, and teach kids how to count. They—and the rest of the characters on the show—shouldn't be marrying anyone, girl or boy." (Whitney Jefferson at Jezebel has a similar gripe.)
  • Tracy Clark-Flory, Salon: "They're close buddies who happen to be lifelong roommates—and in a preschooler's universe this is totally appropriate! It's only in the adult world of defensive, 'no homo' heterosexuality that their cohabitation becomes problematic and laughable." How about we push for more gay celebrities to appear on the show "and leave the absurdity of debating puppets' sexuality to the homophobes."

  • Alyssa Rosenberg, Think Progress: "If Sesame Street says the pair isn’t gay, it would be a bit odd to force them to get married because we want some role models." Also: "I think it’s actively unhelpful to gay and straight men alike to perpetuate the idea that all same-sex roommates, be they puppet or human, must necessarily be a gay couple."
  • Andrew Sullivan, Daily Beast: "My gripe is that I've not just been fighting for gays to have the right to marry for two decades; I've also been fighting for them to have the right not to marry, if they so choose. And that applies to Bert and Ernie."

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