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Producers: No wedding bells for Bert & Ernie

Aug. 11, 2011 at 6:56 PM

NEW YORK, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Puppets and longtime same-sex roommates Bert and Ernie will not get married in New York on "Sesame Street," the preschool show's producers said.

More than 900 people have signed a petition to see the iconic characters wed since same-sex marriage became legal in New York this summer, The Hollywood Reporter said.

"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," the petition reads. "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 by allowing Bert & Ernie to marry. It can be done in a tasteful way. Let us teach tolerance of those that are different."

However, Sesame Workshop, the producers of the beloved children's program said there are no plans to have Bert and Ernie swap vows on the program.

"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 in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter Thursday. "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."

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