Some pro-family organizations are rankled at the latest attempt
by a liberal media outlet to co-opt two of America's most beloved
children's pop culture icons on behalf of the pro-homosexual
The Muppets Bert and Ernie, perhaps
the most recognized characters of the popular U.S. children's
television program Sesame Street, have been used to
commemorate last week's landmark Supreme Court rulings on same-sex
"marriage." The latest issue of The New Yorker magazine
shows the duo cuddling on their sofa as they watch a television
featuring members of the United States Supreme Court.
The illustration, titled "Moment of Joy," suggests the two
characters were joyfully celebrating the recent rulings overturning
the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California's
Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage.
Dan Gainor, vice president of business and culture for the Media
Research Center, believes children are the ultimate losers.
"What happened to the idea that we could have the innocence of
youth?" asks Gainor. "Where children are not abused this way? Where
the characters they grow up with and learn from are made gay?"
Gainor cites the move to reverse the military's
"don't ask, don't tell" policy, a "Was Jesus Gay" article in the
Huffington Post, and now the cover of The New Yorker
magazine as examples of a major propaganda initiative to convince
the world that a large number of the world's population is
"Literally, from pre-K all the way up to senior citizens, they
use TV, they use radio, they use movies, they use news and
entertainment and magazines," says Gainor. "The whole goal is [to
proclaim] that all male or all female friendships ... must be gay.
Their opinion is basically everybody must be gay. No, that's
actually not the case."
Gainor is not alone in his criticism.
"It's beneath contempt for a magazine of The New
Yorker's stature to use Bert and Ernie to celebrate behavior
which is immoral, unnatural and unhealthy," says Tim Wildmon,
president of the American Family Association (AFA). "The artist
is just dead wrong. This is a tragic day for kids who will wind up
in same-sex households."
Wildmon notes a study by University of Texas researcher Mark
Regnerus that concluded children raised in same-sex environments
fared worse in 77 out of 80 outcomes when compared to children
raised in intact homes by a mother and a father.
Bible has had it right from the beginning: marriage is between a
man and a woman, and it's the optimal nurturing environment for
children. The New Yorker ought to be ashamed of itself,"
columnist Bryan Fischer accused the magazine of promoting
"child endangerment" and "child abuse" by using the images of Bert
and Ernie. Fischer also cited the findings of Mark Regnerus.
'Great for our kids'?
The Ernie and Bert characters have lived together for several
years in an apartment in the basement of 123 Sesame Street.
Although they sleep in separate beds, they share a bedroom, which
has led some to speculate the characters portray a homosexual
In 2011, after an online petition asking for Sesame
Street to have Bert and Ernie "wed" went viral, the shows
producers' refuted that claim. That same petition also asked
producers to add a transgender character.
"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 said in a
statement at the time. "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."
Jack Hunter, the artist who designed the cover and first posted
his image on a Tumblr account, said: "It's amazing to witness how
attitudes on gay rights have evolved in my lifetime. This is great
for our kids, a moment we can all celebrate."
Editor's Note: The American Family Association is the parent
organization of the American Family News Network, which operates