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On Sesame Street, Bert and Ernie and the inevitability of marriage equality

Community/Meta Marriage equality

By Ana Beatriz Cholo

When my oldest son was five years old, I sat him down to tell him that mommy was going to attend a wedding far away.

“Two men are getting married, honey,” I told him. “They love each other.”

He looked at me blankly so I continued.

“Sometimes men get married to men and women get married to women. And if they have kids they become daddies and daddies or mommies and mommies.”

I remember how he was so sweet and innocently accepting. Ah, those were the days. (He’s a surly teen now).  All he really cared about then was how long will mommy be gone? And, oh, can I go back to watching cartoons now?

What I explained to him that day was all part of a lesson I wanted to teach him at an early age – that people and families come in all types, shapes, sizes, and colors.

That’s why the recent debate regarding the unmarried status of Bert and Ernie of Sesame Street is interesting to me. While, of course, the bigoted parents out there are already wringing their hands over the possibility of their children being exposed to – horrors! – same-sex married puppets on a children’s show – we should be gentle with these parents. After all, they are in major denial of the inevitable.

I think columnist Petula Dvorak of the Washington Post has it right. Why not introduce a same-sex human couple to the show?

The inevitable is that someday in the future, but not soon enough, we, as a collective society, will not blink an eye when we come across a family that is comprised of two mommies or two daddies, with kids or without, living across the street from us or at the grocery store or at Disneyland. These families are already at all of these places.

Again, as a society, we eventually came around to accepting women being able to vote and work outside the home, Mexican children being able to sit next to their white peers in a classroom, African-Americans being allowed to drink from any water fountain they chose and interracial couples having the right to marry.

It’s a matter of time before marriage equality becomes reality for all Americans so why not introduce this idea now, in this much-loved children’s show that has so gracefully showed many of us how to talk to our kids about tolerance and acceptance of others?

Hey Sesame Street producers, are you listening?

 

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75 Comments

  • 1. Ann S.  |  August 12, 2011 at 11:47 am

    I don't think Bert and Ernie are mature enough to marry. But some gay human actors playing a married couple, that would be a nice addition to the show.

  • 2. Guest  |  August 13, 2011 at 9:17 am

    Sesame Street responded that muppets don't have sexual orientations. And since that's the case, I agree with them that Bert and Ernie should remain friends. But I like your idea about the human actors.

  • 3. Alan_Eckert  |  August 12, 2011 at 11:47 am

  • 4. Christian  |  August 12, 2011 at 11:48 am

    As a surly teen are your son's questions any different? "How long is mommy going to be gone?" (Translation: Do I have time to throw a party?) "Can I go back to watching cartoons?" (Translation: Can I go back to watching cartoons?)

  • 5. scottsteaux63  |  August 12, 2011 at 11:52 am

    "I think columnist Petula Dvorak of the Washington Post has it right. Why not introduce a same-sex human couple to the show?"

    That is the most sensible thing I have read about this whole thing. As a kid who grew up watching "Sesame Street" (I was five when it premiered), I have a long-standing love for the Muppets and the world that Jim Henson so carefully created. And it helped me learn to read and do math, too! What more can you ask for from children's programming?

    As for this idea of "gaying" Bert and Ernie, as a gay man, I just think it's stupid and ridiculous. For starters, they're PUPPETS, and I doubt the preschoolers and kindergarten kids who watch this show even THINK to ascribe any kind of sexuality to these characters. If anything, the Muppets are like children themselves; I watched the show for years after I was "too old" for it just because I liked the Muppets so much.

    Bert and Ernie have been established for more than forty years as best buddies who share a basement apartment, certainly a not uncommon living arrangement in cities like the mythical one represented on the show. And they may share a bedroom, but they don't share a bed. If anything they behave more like brothers than anything else.

    This whole campaign to get them married is nothing but a distraction from the REAL issues confronting REAL LGBT persons in this country. And as Petula Dvorak suggests, if the creators want to introduce kids to a gay couple, using human actors would make much more sense.

  • 6. Ron schimpf  |  August 12, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Couldn't agree with you more, speaking as half of a gay married couple it really bothered me about Bert and Ernie getting married. Another thing that bothered me is most of my friends think it is fantastic, Bert and Ernie are puppets and children know the difference. If you turn these puppets into gay characters it also changes how children perceive male-male friendships.
    Same sex human couple/s would be a great add to any children's show.
    Thank you for saying what my tongue tied tongue could not and giving me some ammo to persuade or at least give my friends something to think about.

  • 7. JonT  |  August 12, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Agreed… I really don't see the point of 'gaying' up Bert and Ernie.

    Seems silly and totally unnecessary to me.

  • 8. Angela  |  August 13, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Absolutely, I couldn't have put it better myself!

  • 9. _BK_  |  August 13, 2011 at 1:14 am

    I agree, Scott. A human same-sex couple would be so much better. After all, the show's producers had said in the past that Bert & Ernie weren't in a relationship, right?

  • 10. LCH  |  August 12, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    I agree whole heartedly that Sesame Street should introduce a gay couple or at least a family with same sex parents. When I was a kid, even though they didn't have an Asian character in the early days, I remember feeling so much more American when I saw brown people on Sesame Street. It's like society acknowledged that we existed and are part of the fabric of American society.

    As far as Ernie and Bert goes, I think they should leave them as they are. The important lesson that Ernie and Bert teaches is that it okay for straight men to have close and enduring friendships with other men. Something that's not encouraged in our culture.

  • 11. Daniel  |  August 12, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    I always considered all of the characters on sesame street to be asexual, so I don't see any reason for Bert and Ernie to get married.

  • 12. MFargo  |  August 12, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    I’m not a big Sesame Street devotee, so I’m somewhat limited in commenting. However, I can talk about my own childhood and when the awareness of “sexuality” reared its head. I was six or seven, and it’s my understanding that Sesame Street’s target is the pre-school and kindergarten crowd.

    While gender role playing is well established by the age of 3 or 4, I’m not sure what that has to do with sexuality. I’d be for Bert and Ernie ironing clothes or whipping up something in the kitchen, but I find “marriage” (hetero or otherwise) to be too advanced for the show’s target audience. As well, I find the whole idea to be a set-up for accusations of “indoctrination” of children. If we agree that one’s sexual identity is innate, I’m not sure what the benefit for having examples of various family models on a pre-school show would accomplish.

    Bert and Ernie seem to have been “roommates” for quite some time, and in the real world that would raise questions. But asking that the producers “marry” them seems to me to bring in all kinds of issues that just aren’t age appropriate…for Sesame Street.

  • 13. nightshayde  |  August 12, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    I think the benefit of having examples of various family models included is to let people (especially children) know that non-traditional families are just as much families as "traditional" ones — and to let kids from non-traditional families know they're not alone. I think it's important to teach kids (and adults, though that's often a harder group to teach) that "different" doesn't equal "abnormal," and that two things can be different without one being better or worse than the other.

    I completely agree that there's no need for Bert & Ernie to get married. I don't automatically expect every couple that's in a long-term relationship (regardless of orientation) to get married — so why would I expect puppets to do so?

    I love the idea of introducing a same-sex couple with children to Sesame Street.

  • 14. dave  |  August 12, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    I'm not for outing Bert and Ernie – if they are gay, which the creators made clear they were not – but I think the idea that muppets are all genderless or not in relationships is clearly disputed by Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog, and for that matter Gonzo's romantic feelings (fettish?) for chickens. I think kids look at Burt and Ernie, two masculine names, dressed in a more boyish way, with short hair, and see boys. I don't think they see sex organs, but they see boys. And sometimes boys like boys and girls like girls and boys like girls and girls like boys. I think all of those options are realistic in the human and puppet world. Having a gay human couple is fine too.

    Reading comments on other cites – notably CNN – the comments see this a sick, gay agenda to make anything sacred into something gay (aka wrong, sinful, and/or disgusting). I'm not for riling the homophobes on this one, but I am for having the gay community represented TV, including children's TV.

  • 15. nightshayde  |  August 12, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    We can't see sex organs — Bert & Ernie don't have anything below the waist (except for puppeteer arms)!

    (Mom & I got ourselves laughing really hard over this last night)

  • 16. scottsteaux63  |  August 12, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Keep in mind, though, that the sultry Miss Piggy and Gonzo's peculiar affinity for chickens was something created for "The Muppet Show," which was directed towards adults and children alike.

  • 17. AnyaAngie  |  August 13, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    The Muppets Take Manhattan remains to this day one of my very favorite films of all time. As a child, I never bothered to wonder how the Kermie and Piggy would have sex LOL, my child-aged brain goes, "And they lived happily ever after, the end!"

    I'm gonna pop that in now *GRIN* I haven't seen it in ages! I thought I lent it to someone I thought I would never see again, a former house aide, well turns out I lent it to my mom next door for my neice! So I got it back after over a YEAR LOL I had no idea it was even there!

  • 18. JoeRH  |  August 12, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    I heard about this and thought "How ridiculous can people be?" Two guys can live together and not have a relationship beyond friendship. Have they ever even suggested on the show that there is any intimacy between them or between any of the other characters? This is just an asinine attempt to incorporate anything gay into something to introduce it to children (don't mistake that for me saying children shouldn't be introduced to anything gay-related). I think the CA law requiring kids to learn about LGBT people is a good idea, but this is just pathetic! Have there ever been any marriages on Sesame Street? Seriously, sometimes I really dislike gay "activists" who do stuff like this because they make gay rights something so trivial as two puppets on a kids' show. Get a life and fight for something worth while!

  • 19. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  August 12, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    While California introduces the law teaching kids about LGBT people, two of Russian regional legislatures already enacted laws prohibiting the so-called "propaganda of homosexuality" among minors effectively banning spreading of any positive information about gay people. In one of those regions they are trying to use that new law to punish professors at a local college for having a seminar against homophobia. This is how bad things are where I have to live. What I'm trying to say: I hate living in Russia and I'm glad that you guys have it so much better. I know it's hard not to have marriage equality, but at least it's not Russia.

    A year and a half ago I posted my first comment here predicting how things are going to go sour for gays in Russia. It's all coming true now, and even faster than I thought. I hate that I was right.

  • 20. JoeRH  |  August 12, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    That really sucks. I'm not familiar with Russia, so I don't know anything about their politics, or anything regarding gay people, but that's just sad. In the US, they do have this law enacted in one of the states that prevents teachers from talking about anything gay unless it comes up, and if it does, they aren't to take a side regarding their personal approval or disapproval. People can be so stupid and simple-minded.

  • 21. _BK_  |  August 13, 2011 at 1:19 am

    I hate how, even when things are going bad for me, there are so many people who have it much worse. My thoughts go out to you and our other LGBTs in Russia. Is there any realy equal rights movement in Russia? Stay strong.

  • 22. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  August 13, 2011 at 6:08 am

    There is some kind of a movement, there are activists, but they are few. Mostly gay people prefer to stay away from this for many reasons, they have their freedom to fornicate and to gather in gay clubs, and that is enough for them, they don't want to stir up things and make it worse. It is because of activists trying to organize gay pride parades in Moscow and St Petersburg we have those anti-gay laws; the more activists try to make us visible, the more the anti-gay crowd organizes against us and makes up laws to hurt us. There is no way around it. But we cannot be silent forever. We still have to get through the ugly part, and it's still ahead. There's going to be a lot of ugliness in coming years, and, like you said, we'll have to stay strong.

  • 23. AnyaAngie  |  August 13, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Kirille, (the way Chrome shows this site I am not sure if I got that right, but I hope I did) I am actually writing a Russian gay man on my writing group! He resides in America but travels to Russia often to compete as an openly gay figure skater. I heard through rumors that Russia was a bad place for the LGBT community… Danil fears for his life literally every time he goes there, and I had him suffer blatant discrimination due to his skating to the Brokeback Mountain soundtrack. He got bronze, while he should have won gold, because of who he is and what he skated to.

    I went on a whim practically for all of his storyline, but when I read that post, it doesn't sound like I was too unrealistic!

    If you have any suggestions or information on other various issues and situations with regards to the LGBT community that I could use in my writing group, I would love to hear from you.

    SPASIBO BOLSHOE! *grin*
    angela (proud Plushenko fan btw ;))

  • 24. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  August 14, 2011 at 5:00 am

    Hi, Angela! Thank you for writing to me!

    The situation you described with Danil doesn't surprise me. I commend him for being openly gay in such a homophobic country. It's great he gets to live in the US most of the time, I was denied that chance. I'm trying to be open myself so that more people would know someone gay and would realize there is nothing wrong with being gay, that I'm still a normal person just like everybody else.

    There are not so many resources in Russian internet that deal with gay issues. There is a http://www.GayRussia.eu website created by the group of people who are trying to organize gay pride parades in Moscow every year and get denied a simple right to demonstrate in front of a government building. Also there are some local organizations pertaining to their respective cities or regions. But there is no organizations that works officially here, they all are banned from being officially registered with the government because homosexuality is something dirty and dishonorable in their minds that should never be allowed to protect our children from all that. Mostly gay people prefer to stay in the shadows rather than organize and fight for their rights.

    Спасибо большое to you!
    (Too bad Plushenko is anti-gay himself)

  • 25. AnyaAngie  |  August 14, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Thank you for your response Kirille! I really appreciate it!

    That really puts things into perspective. We do seem to be luckier than other countries, because at least here we have officially-recognized organizations, like you said, who can fight for the LGBT community… It's easy for some of us to forget that other countries aren't so lucky.

    I've put Danil through absolute hell in his storyline. I cry sometimes when I write his character. As of now he is struggling to come to terms with his American husband cheating on him… But all ends up well between them, it's just gonna take some time…

    I couldn't help but be curious about your last comment. I'm sure since you live in Russia you have access to media that we don't. It really surprises me about Zhenya since I know he and Johnny Weir are good friends… maybe it's just a case of ignorance on his part?

    Yeah, off-topic I know guys, but what can I say. Curiouser and curiouser!

  • 26. Chris in Lathrop  |  August 12, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    I'm so with you on the "no Muppet intimacy" thing. Bert & Ernie sleep in separate beds, last I checked (admittedly, more than a couple of decades ago). A same-sex human couple would be so much better an idea. I'm pretty sure that watching Gordon and Maria on Sesame Street helped me survive growing up among racist peers without becoming a racist, and I'm sure that a same-sex couple living above Mr. Hooper's old store can help today's children the same way.

  • 27. AnonyGrl  |  August 12, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    There have been marriages on Sesame Street, but not Muppet ones, if I recall correctly. Two of the human characters got married (also in real life, perhaps?). I remember Elmo as the ring bearer.

    Miss Piggy and Kermit get married in one of the Muppet movies, too.

    No, Bert and Ernie don't need to be gay. It is kind of silly.

  • 28. Sarah  |  August 12, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Too many people I agree with to pick one to respond to. 🙂 Gay puppets? No. Gay family? Yes! Having grown up with Sesame Street, Bert and Ernie getting married would just be weird. Can't we take the producers at their word for once and just let it be? But, maybe all this hoopla will plant the seed that perhaps they do need to have some non-hetero families on there in the future. That would be cool.

  • 29. Phillip R  |  August 12, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    I agree with most of the postings here. The whole idea of gay puppets just sounded ridiculous (Avenue Q is a different entity in and of itself). However, a gay family would be a nice change.

  • 30. peterplumber  |  August 12, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    I always thought that Terrence & Philip were gay and should get married. But my dreams came crashing down in a recent episode. They married their girlfriends in a double wedding at the end of the episode Eat, Pray, Queef.

  • 31. Mike  |  August 12, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Are there any straight married puppets? If not, then why make gay married puppets? I wouldn’t know, I don’t watch Sesame Street, never have.

    Thinking back when I was a kid when I had crushes on Aladdin and Prince Eric, I would have been ecstatic to see their romantic interests be young men instead of maidens!

  • 32. Mark Mead-Brewer  |  August 12, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    I am so angry and so sad today. 🙁
    My employer Group Helath Cooperative was recently named by HRC as one of the best and most inclussive of all health care organization to the LGBT community….
    Today I recieved a memo stating that because of DOMA and the IRS rules GHC will no longer be able to offer domestic partner benefits.
    It is a sad sad day.
    Once again I am a second class citizen and a second class employee

    Group Health
    320 Westlake Ave. N.
    Suite 100
    Seattle, WA 98109-5233
    206-448-5790
    [email protected]

  • 33. MarcosLB  |  August 12, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Mark,
    Not sure what DOMA and IRS rules have to do with offering domestic partner benefits. We all suffer under those rules, but they do not preclude an employer from offering benefits. Please elaborate thanks.

  • 34. Phillip R  |  August 12, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Yea, I was surprised as well. Companies can offer domestic partner benefits regardless of DOMA since you don't need to be married to reap the rewards of them.

  • 35. FlexSF  |  August 12, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Sorry for the loss. Another reason to sue the federal government over DOMA.

  • 36. Mark Mead-Brewer  |  August 12, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    I am being told that because of the IRS taxation rules they can no longer afford to absorb the cost, and are not simply pusing it off onto the employees.
    I have asked for clarification, and the specific IRS regulations they are speaking of but as yet have not had a reply (nor am I expecting one really)
    I am assuming that because of DOMA the IRS is not able to view us as a legally married couple so the tax burden for the benefits is not being absorbed in the way it would for a straight married couple…..am only guessing mind you.

  • 37. Phillip R  |  August 12, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    I guess I understand considering a lot of businesses are cutting extra costs.

    You'd think they would offer to pass it off to employees though if they still wanted the benefit.

    Sorry Mark. 🙁 My company has a very extensive spousal insurance/benefit program but no luck on domestic partnership.

  • 38. jpmassar  |  August 12, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    I'm pretty sure it's bullshit. Just an excuse. Nothing about DOMA or IRS rules pertaining to domestic partner benefits would cause any additional expense to the company as opposed to if you were in an opposite-sex marriage that I am aware of.

    It's just an excuse to not provide benefits to partners of employees who are not married.

  • 39. Elizabeth_Oakes  |  August 13, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Time for WA State to turn it's "everything but marriage" law into marriage, I guess….then Washington's married gay couples would have legal grounds to sue (not that that would prevent companies finding some other grounds to deny coverage, and how it will leave same-sex couples in the lurch for years.) I wish the Obama administration would quit fooling around with this on-again, off-again "support" for same-sex families having equality under the law– people's health and livelihoods at risk while everyone's playing at politics. Puppets, indeed.

  • 40. Tim in Sonoma  |  August 13, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Mark, I feel your pain but I think GHC is not being completely honest with you! They CAN offer benefits if they so choose! Unless Wa domestic partner laws are different than Ca. In Ca any company doing business within Ca must offer domestic partner benefits to registered domestic partners.
    Where DOMA comes in: Even though Myself and My husband were married in 2008 during that small window of equality before the church's got involved, the federal government does not recognize our marriage/domestic partnership, but Ca does. My husband recieves my union benefits through my employer and since the feds dont recognize our marriage they treat the benefits that Michael (my husband) recieves as income.
    So once a month we recieve a bill from my union for $180.00, taxes on the value of the benifits! I call it " gay tax" it sucks but until DOMA is repealed we must pay it.
    And when DOMA is repealed I will be suing the fed's for my money back!
    Talk to your employer about you picking up the taxes through payroll deductions until DOMA is gone. That would be cheaper than buying your own. Wouldn't hurt to ask. Good luck!

  • 41. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  August 13, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    I have found a bit more info. Seems they are going to start with removing DP discount benefits in goods and services first. Things like the 50% discount for eyeglasses and such. They are saying it's because the IRS rules force them to pay higher taxes for these discounted goods and services…..taxes they are not required to pay on federally recognized married couples.
    Am still working on getting more answers from them. Also waiting for a response from a couple other organizations

  • 42. Gregory in SLC  |  August 15, 2011 at 11:50 am

    BIG FROWN : ( I'm so sorry Mark about all of this. DOMA cannot fall soon enough!

  • 43. Mark Mead-Brewer  |  August 18, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Still no reply to my emails and phone messages asking for clarification…..but I WILL NOT BE IGNORED!
    I have contacted all the local mainstream media outlets, as well as Dan Savage at The Stranger, HRC, Seattle Gay News, and a couple others that escape my mind right now.
    I will post more when and if I ever learn more.

  • 44. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  August 18, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    So I recieved a brief reply to one of my emails today. GHC is claiming IRS code sec 132
    But Sec 132 speaks only to pretaxed monies set aside for transportaion issues – bus passes, parking etc. Not sure how they feel this applies to employee discounts for other things not pretaxed.

    GHC's reply:
    Section 132 of the IRS code specifies that discounts provided to a domestic partner do not meet the requirements of a qualified employee discount. This information was provided directly from payroll. I believe it to be similar to Domestic Partner health benefits being added to the employees income.

  • 45. Sagesse  |  August 12, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    "This week, the Williams Institute filed an amicus brief in Adar v. Smith, a case about whether states have to honor adoption judgments from other states. The Williams Institute brief supports a request that the U.S. Supreme Court hear the case, because it presents a key constitutional question of interstate relations that potentially affects thousands of families headed by same-sex and unmarried, different-sex couples."
    http://www3.law.ucla.edu/williamsinstitute/pdf/Ad

  • 46. Mark Mead-Brewer  |  August 12, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Than cut ALL benefits to spouses and DPs don't just target one group of people….don't just punish those of us who CAN'T meet the requirements through no fault of our own.
    UGH!!!

  • 47. Mark Mead-Brewer  |  August 12, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    LOL
    A good friend just sent me an email to cheer me up……I'll share this with you all.

    "Marriage is like a game of Bridge….in the beginning you need two hearts and a diamond….by the end you're praying for a club and a spade"

    LOL

  • 48. Sagesse  |  August 12, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Really unpleasant.

    The bathroom scare: ‘Public bathrooms just won’t be safe anymore’
    http://www.keennewsservice.com/2011/08/11/the-bat

  • 49. Elizabeth_Oakes  |  August 13, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Didn't Phyllis Schafly (hcccch*ptoooey) also use this fear tactic when she was stumping to defeat the ERA in the 70's? That if a Constitutional amendment to protect women's equality of rights passed, we'd no longer be allowed to have gender-specific bathrooms?

    I've been afraid of public restrooms since I found out that people like Larry Craig were hanging out in there…I don't care that he wanted to get some, but the HYPOCRISY!! Blecch!! Worse than the nastiest unflushied loo, if you ask me.

  • 50. Carpool_Cookie  |  August 12, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Has anyone thought to ask the longtime companions BERT and ERNIE how THEY feel?

    That's the test.

  • 51. Elizabeth_Oakes  |  August 13, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Don't you mean, "how they *felt* about it," Cookie? (snork)

  • 52. DaveP  |  August 13, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    Ooh! I just got that! Hee hee. Good one, Elizabeth : )

  • 53. Sagesse  |  August 12, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    The Congressional Evolution on DOMA
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ian-thompson/post_2

  • 54. Joyce  |  August 12, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    It is a kids' show! Most of the viewers are too young to comprehend any kind of sexual context. I don't remember any couples on the show…just friends…so why change it? I think it would be more productive to work on integrating gay or lesbian couples in other family shows that are watched by older kids.

  • 55. Ann S.  |  August 12, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    There was a married couple — people, not Muppets — on the show, with their kids — Gordon and Susan, I think? People moved into and out of the neighborhood from time to time. A same-sex couple could easily move into the neighborhood.

  • 56. Chris in Lathrop  |  August 12, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    Right on about Gordon and Susan! Jeez, it's been so long I forgot all about her. 😛

  • 57. Ann S.  |  August 12, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Who knew there would be a Muppet wiki? But there is: http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Gordon

  • 58. Straight Ally #3008  |  August 12, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    I think there's something to be said for leaving it an open question as to whether there is anything more to their roommate/friendship status. It's what you make of it: a kid with two dads might perceive it differently than a kid with a mom and a dad, but really, are kids watching Sesame Street old enough to consider the implications of living together? Bert and Ernie's high jinks are decidedly asexual.

    That being said, in the 1960s some people might have raised a fuss about an orange man and a yellow man living together…. >;-)

  • 59. Elizabeth_Oakes  |  August 13, 2011 at 11:23 am

    …. with a rubber duckie, mind you….

  • 60. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  August 13, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Indeed 🙂
    [youtube Mh85R-S-dh8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mh85R-S-dh8 youtube]

  • 61. Sagesse  |  August 13, 2011 at 4:56 am

    "Don't Ask, Don't Tell": External Pressure or Internal Struggle?

    Read more: http://battleland.blogs.time.com/2011/08/12/dadt-

  • 62. Sam_Handwich  |  August 13, 2011 at 5:16 am

    Not sure if this has been posted here….

    BOSTON –– A federal appeals court panel Thursday rejected an anti-gay marriage group’s bid to block its need for compliance with Rhode Island campaign disclosure laws.

    The National Organization for Marriage had challenged Chief U.S. District Judge Mary M. Lisi’s refusal in October to grant a preliminary injunction that would have allowed the group to avoid disclosing money it spent to support various candidates, in accordance with state election laws. The group, which has launched similar lawsuits nationwide, had argued that Lisi erred when she denied the request.

    Judge Lisi concluded the disclosure law imposed little burden on the group and had a valuable governmental interest in identifying the people who give more than $100 to a support or defeat a candidate.
    http://www.projo.com/news/content/NOM_APPEAL_RULI

    …and a Similar ruling in Maine against NOM …
    http://www.mpbn.net/News/MaineNewsArchive/tabid/1

  • 63. MFargo  |  August 13, 2011 at 6:51 am

    It feels like, currently, this issue got more airplay on major news outlets than the Prop 8 trial. i was curious about the origin of the petition. It was change.org. And just visiting the site, I saw that it had 8+ thousand signatures. A CNN reporter said it had "90,000" last week. While–to me–this has the hallmark of some kind of juvenile prank, is it really newsworthy? Or does it fit into those preconceived folk who believe there's some "gay agenda"?

    While there have been jokes about Bert and Ernie ever since…. Does an 8,000 signatured petition on a public website (where anyone can put up any kind of issue) really belong on the lead page of news outlets? Whether or not the intentions behind the person who started the post was sincere (and I beleive discussion here has been sincere), why has the news media (notoriously "left wing pro gay rights") made this a LGBT issue?

  • 64. Don in Texas  |  August 13, 2011 at 7:37 am

    OT, but very interesting item from Taegan Goddard's Political Wire:

    GOP Lawmaker Caught Setting Up Gay Rendezvous
    Emails shared with the Indianapolis Star suggest that Indiana state Rep. Phillip Hinkle (R) — responding to a local posting on Craigslist — offered a young man $80 plus tip to spend time with him Saturday night at a local hotel.

    Said one email: "Cannot be a long time sugar daddy, but can for tonight. Would you be interested in keeping me company for a while tonight?"

    The emails, sent from Hinkle's publicly listed personal address, ask the young man for "a couple hours of your time tonight" and offer him cash up front, with a tip of up to $50 or $60 "for a really good time."

    According to the Evansville Courier & Press, Hinkle voted earlier this year for a constitutional gay marriage ban and his official bio says he's married with two children.

  • 65. Phillip  |  August 13, 2011 at 8:32 am

    Another one bites the dust

  • 66. Elizabeth_Oakes  |  August 13, 2011 at 11:27 am

    You know, it would be funny if these people didn't do so much damage to LGBT people in their closeted states….but hey, free iPad. :p

  • 67. Don in Texas  |  August 13, 2011 at 8:00 am

    Pawlenty confronted by teen who says discrimination against gays hurts.

  • 68. Tim in Sonoma  |  August 13, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Pawlenty say's that "marriage between a man and a woman should remain elevated".
    Me: Then what's up with the divorce rate in this country?
    Marriage is not being taken seriously in this country unless it involves a gay or lesbian couple, then all of a sudden it's important. I don't get it!

  • 69. Sagesse  |  August 13, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    This is just wrong.

    Another student sues Anoka-Hennepin over anti-LGBT bullying
    Complaint brings number of students suing district to six
    http://minnesotaindependent.com/86000/another-stu

  • 70. Sagesse  |  August 14, 2011 at 6:10 am

    Bachmann won the Iowa straw poll… for what that's worth. I am a Canadian, and an observer of the US political system. It amazes me that there is no Republican candidate who could be associated in the same sentence with the terms 'presidential' or 'leadership'. Quite aside from their (mostly) ugly socially conservative positions. The US political system suffers, it seems to me, because there is no official leadership of the party that is out of power. All this jockeying and jostling for political position and fragmentation does not strengthen the democratic process.

    In the parliamentary system as it operates in Canada and Britain, for example, the opposition party elects a leader who speaks for the party in the legislature in opposition; if that person is not performing, he/she is replaced (again by vote of the party membership). The system is not perfect (no democratic government structure is) but at least the opposition speaks with a single voice.

    This incident does not seem to have been widely reported.

    Bachmann involved in unusual campaign moment
    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/08/12/b

  • 71. Sagesse  |  August 14, 2011 at 8:00 am

    It ain't over til it's over.

    Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal: Gay Military Members Have Tough Time Returning To Service
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/13/dont-ask

  • 72. Don in Texas  |  August 14, 2011 at 8:53 am

    Top examples of Rick Perry's anti-gay agenda.

  • 73. Angela  |  August 14, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Kirille thank you once again for your response, I really appreciate it!

    It really put things into perspective for me, to know just how lucky us Americans are to be able to have such organizations and events, while other countries, such as yours, are denied and banned from such things. Thank you for the site, I’m checking it out now.

    Couldn’t help but ask about your comment about Zhenya… Obviously you have more access to media regarding his opinion on gay issues than I, but I know he is close with Johnny Weir so that really surprised me… Probably it is more a case of ignorance on his part?

  • 74. Ronnie  |  August 15, 2011 at 8:49 am

    I think Rod & Ricky from Avenue Q should get on the subway to Sesame Street & have a dinner party with Bert & Ernie, Miss Piggy & Kermit, Gonzo & Camilla, Big Bird & Snuffy, Lamb Chop & her brother Charlie Horse, & Statler & Waldorf……..That would be an awesome dinner party……..just saying…….

    In other news:
    Jacques Beaumont and Richard Townsend http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/14/fashion/wedding

    Congratulations to Richard Townsend (77yo) & Jacques Beaumont (86yo) after being together for nearly 40 years they were able to get married in New York. A happy occasion yes, but also filled with sorrow. Just days after the New York Marriage Equality Act was signed Mr. Beaumont was diagnosed with leukemia & Mr. Townsend was having complications due to Parkinson's disease. They are both staying in the hospital together as a couple & the doctors agreed to postpone Mr. Beaumont's chemotherapy until they could get married.

    LGBT History in the making…….we will remember our elders, our stories, our history….& THEY WILL BE TAUGHT & SHARED!!!…………. <3…Ronnie

  • 75. Alan_Eckert  |  August 15, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    The Onion has a brief article up about the Bert and Ernie question.
    http://www.theonion.com/articles/bert-and-ernie-n

    A good point about the construction workers. Forgot about them!

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