Have you seen the internet petition after New York legalized same-sex marriage to have Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie get married and the subsequent backlash against it? Okay, I know I'm coming a little late to this issue, but I've been moving, didn't have the internet for several weeks, and have been catching up since.
Anyway, I feel there is an important compromise to be had here. One side feels that this obvious couple should come out of the closet with a New York same-sex marriage, and the other side insists that they aren't a couple at all and are just friends.
Because the truth is always in the middle of two extreme viewpoints, the solution should be obvious: Bert and Ernie should be friends with benefits.
Others have already pointed out how extremely close the two are, how they seem to buy matching sets of furniture for themselves, and wondered how many platonic friends they know of who share a bedroom? Sure, I can buy the "close friends" part, but is the "platonic" all that likely?
Still, does that mean they are marriage material?
Think about it simply on the facts for a moment. Everyone mentions their shared bedroom, but how likely is it that a couple, especially one on the path toward getting married, would sleep in separate beds? I mean, this isn't the 1950s. The only couples I know who have separate beds are polyamorous couples or folks who have been married for so long that they need some space. In each case, they don't just have separate beds but also separate bedrooms.
Besides, if they were a monogamous couple, heaven forbid Bert ever walks in on Ernie in the bathtub singing, "Rubber ducky you're so fine, and I'm lucky that you're mine," "Rubber ducky you're the one." I suppose it could be a great way to teach about affairs and the reality of how couples deal with them, but I'd prefer to see the pair as positive role models engaging in ethical non-monogamy rather than a negative model of what not to.
Regardless of what you think is most likely, the facts are that Bert and Ernie have a very unique relationship that isn't commonly represented in the media - including in LGBT media. Setting them up as friends with benefits is a good way to explain the facts, but most importantly, is a politically expedient way to resolve the growing tension between Sesame Street fans arguing over the nature of their relationship.
We all know that liberals are very much in favor of recognizing gay relationships, and conservatives absolutely love no strings attached clandestine gay sex. This way you can have the long term relationship and domesticity alongside occasional physical gratification free from a commitment to monogamy and without the need to discuss what the relationship "means." Certainly everyone can get behind that.
Especially when so many youth and young adults are struggling with these very issues, perhaps it is worthwhile to have a set of role models for how that can be done in a long term successful way.