Bert and Ernie ‘Cuddle’ as They Celebrate Gay Marriage

Bert and  ErnieFamed characters of the popular U.S. children’s television program Sesame Street have been used to commemorate the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on same-sex marriage. The New Yorker magazine announced its cover of next week’s issue features Muppets Bert and Ernie. Many pro-family organizations, however, believe this is just another attempt by liberals to coopt one of American’s beloved pop culture icons.

The cover, titled "Moment of Joy," shows the Sesame Street duo cuddling as they watch television from their sofa featuring members of the United States Supreme Court. The cover suggests the characters were joyfully celebrating the recent rulings overturning the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage.

Dan Gainor, vice president of business & culture for the Media Research Center, believes children are the ultimate losers in this editorial decision.

“What happened to the idea that we could have innocence of youth,” asked Gainor. “Where children are not abused this way. Where there characters they can learn from as they grow up are gay.”

Gainor cites the move to reverse the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy, a “Was Jesus Gay?” article in the Huffington Post and now the cover of The New Yorker magazine as examples of a major propaganda initiative to convince the world that a large number of the world’s population is gay.

“From literally, pre-K all the way up to senior citizens, they use TV, they use radio, they use movies, news and entertainment and magazines,” said Gainor. “The whole goal is to proclaim all male or female friendships as gay. You criticize their opinion - you must be gay. Everyone must be gay. No, that is actually not the case.

Ernie and Bert have lived together for several years in an apartment in the basement of 123 Sesame Street. Although they sleep in separate beds, they share a bedroom, which has led some to speculate the characters portray a homosexual relationship.

In 2011, after a petition asking for Sesame Street to marry Bert and Ernie went viral on the Internet, the shows producers’ refuted that claim. That same petition also asked producers to add a transgender character.

"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,” Sesame Workshop said in a statement. "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."

Jack Hunter, the artist who designed the cover and first posted his image on a Tumblr account said, "It's amazing to witness how attitudes on gay rights have evolved in my lifetime. This is great for our kids, a moment we can all celebrate."

“It’s beneath contempt for a magazine of the New Yorker’s stature to use Bert and Ernie to celebrate behavior which is immoral, unnatural and unhealthy,” said Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association (AFA). “The artist is just dead wrong. This is a tragic day for kids who will wind up in same-sex households.”

Wildmon noted a study by University of Texas researcher Mark Regnerus that concluded children raised in same-sex environments fared worse in 77 out of 80 outcomes when compared to children raised in intact homes by a mother and a father.

“The Bible has had it right from the beginning: marriage is between a man and a woman, and it’s the optimal nurturing environment for children. The New Yorker ought to be ashamed of itself,” said Wildmon.