Petition For Gay Sesame Street Wedding Is Surprisingly Controversial
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A gay rights group in the United States is petitioning to have Sesame Street's first ever gay wedding between room sharing duo Bert and Ernie. The woman behind the petition, Lair Scott of Illinois, says its purpose is to give children the message of acceptance. She writes: "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."
Scott's petition has so far amassed around 3,700 signatures - a surprisingly small number considering how much press the cause has garnered. The idea of Bert and Ernie tying the knot has prompted a lot of commentary including a TIME Magazine article that has accumulated 16 pages worth of reader comments.
From the staunchly opposed...
"It's a horrible idea. And its a perversive, deviant, irresponsible idea that borders on child molestation, which is basically exposing kids to adult subject matter that they are not equipped to deal with on their own."
To keen supporters...
"The guys obviously love each other, living together for so long. Let them be married and proper parents for rubber duckies sake at least."
And the more pragmatic...
"...some comments may be off the mark, but I think it is a gut reaction to having something that has been so innocent over the years, become about sexuality (they don't need girlfriends or wives either). We don't NEED to question whether burt and ernie are best friends or lovers....not necessary."
A union between Bert and Ernie would not be the first case of Muppets marrying. Piggy and Kermit have gotten hitched many times in various sketches as well as in the movie The Muppets Take Manhattan.
Everything Sesame Street done is perfect and a gay wedding would undoubtedly be no exception, but there's a zero per cent chance it'll happen on air as long as the majority of North American states don't allow actual humans to have legal same-sex marriages.