Bert and Ernie look awfully fond of each other on the cover of this week's The New Yorker. The two muppets, arguably the world's most popular bachelor roommates, appear snuggling on the couch while watching news coverage of the Supreme Court's DOMA ruling regarding same-sex equality.
Wearing their recognizable attire, Bert has his arm draped around Ernie, as Ernie lovingly leans on Bert's shoulder. On the television are images of the justices wearing robes. The image, titled "Moment of Joy," was an unsolicited submission to a Tumblr by artist Jack Hunter, The New Yorker says
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"It's amazing to witness how attitudes on gay rights have evolved in my lifetime," Hunter told The New Yorker. "This is great for our kids, a moment we can all celebrate."
Reactions to the cover were mixed on Twitter.
Through Bert and Ernie are fictional characters aimed at children, the wildly popular residents of Sesame Street have long been ambiguous in terms of their sexual orientation. They have been the butt of jokes, and also the subject of a 2011 Change.org online petition and Facebook page that wanted to see them get married
The groundswell of support grew so large that Sesame Street Workshop addressed the brewing controversy.
"Bert and Ernie are best friends," the Workshop said in a statement. "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 New Yorker isn't new to controversy: In 2008, a satirical cover showed a radical Barack and militant Michelle Obama fist-bumping
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