The upcoming issue of The New Yorker gives a nod to this week’s U.S. Supreme Court rulings on marriage equality, with an unlikely pair gracing its cover — Sesame Street muppets Bert and Ernie.
Bert and Ernie have long been the subjects of rumors of being a gay couple, but in 2011 the Sesame Workshop issued this statement:
“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. 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.”
The cover prompted outrage from Bryan Fischer, spokesperson for the anti-gay hate group, American Family Association, who called the image “grossly irresponsible.”