To celebrate Wednesday’s landmark Supreme Court decisions that struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act and permitted same-sex marriage to resume in California, The New Yorker has debuted Jack Hunter’s cover for the July 8 and 15 issue, described as “Bert and Ernie’s ‘Moment of Joy’.”
“It’s amazing to witness how attitudes on gay rights have evolved in my lifetime,” Hunter said. “This is great for our kids, a moment we can all celebrate.”
Of course, as Salon’s June Thomas points out, Sesame Workshop (formerly Children’s Television Workshop) has gone to great lengths to insist that, contrary to persistent jokes and insinuations, longtime roommates Ernie and Bert aren’t a romantic couple.
“Bert and Ernie are best friends,” the nonprofit organization said in a 2011 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.”
Still, it’s a nice warm-and-fuzzy image, unveiled on the 44th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.