In the hotly contested debate over whether “Sesame Street” characters Bert and Ernie are homosexual, the iconic puppets have apparently come out of the closet on the latest cover of the New Yorker magazine.
The famous characters are depicted snuggling up together in front of a TV while looking at an image of the Supreme Court justices in their black robes.
“It’s amazing to witness how attitudes on gay rights have evolved in my lifetime,” said Jack Hunter, the artist behind the cover. “This is great for our kids, a moment we can all celebrate.” Hunter calls the image, “Moment of Joy.”
There have long been rumors about the nature of Bert and Ernie’s relationship.
When same-sex marriage was legalized in the state of New York in July 2011, an online petition urged the fictional characters, who serve as a teaching tool for young children, to tie the knot.
Sesame Street responded to the petition by releasing a statement describing Bert and Ernie as “best friends.”
“They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves,” the 2011 statement said. “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.”
Sesame Street has not yet commented on the New Yorker cover.