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Bert, Ernie portrayed gay on New Yorker cover

June 28, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Next week's cover of the New Yorker magazine suggests that the "Sesame Street" puppets, Bert and Ernie, are gay.

The cover shows the two characters cuddled up in front of a television, watching coverage of the Supreme Court's historic rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8. Bert's arm is around Ernie, and Ernie is shown leaning on Bert's shoulder. On the TV screen, the Supreme Court justices are shown sitting in their black robes.

The High Court on Tuesday struck down a key provision of DOMA, effectively saying that married same-sex couples should get the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples. On Proposition 8, the Supreme Court ruled the defenders did not have the right to appeal, clearing the way for gay marriage in California.

The artist who drew the mazagine cover, called "Moment of Joy," is Jack Hunter. He originally submitted the unsolicited image to a Tumblr page, according to the New Yorker's website.

There were mixed reactions on the streets of Hollywood. Some people said they loved the cover.

"The kids aren't cognizant of that at the time. If parents are like over thinking it, and that's coming on to their kids, then that's the parents talking to them," said one person.

But for every person we found who was in support of Bert and Ernie's portrayal, we found others who said it was highly inappropriate.

"I don't think you should be using children's figures like this in the political realm," said one person.

The magazine refused an interview request with ABC News but released a statement reading, "The New Yorker thinks the cover speaks for itself."

"Sesame Street" has decided not to respond to the cover.

The show has issued statements in the past regarding the sexuality of the puppets, saying puppets do not have a sexual orientation.

The show has also said that Bert and Ernie were designed to teach their audience of 2-to 4-year-olds that people can be friends even when they are very different from one another.

ABC News contributed to this report.


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