Bert and Ernie New Yorker cover

Next week's New Yorker cover depicts Bert and Ernie as a gay couple, and much of the Internet just won't stop talking about it. (The New Yorker / June 28, 2013)

Now that the Defense of Marriage Act is out of the way, we have time to focus on real issues: puppet sex.

A portion of the Internet lost its mind this morning over next week's New Yorker cover (pictured above). Featuring Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie snuggling and watching the Supreme Court on television, it's a clear nod to the court's decisions on DOMA and Proposition 8. Fine. Cute, even.

Except it launched a full-fledged debate over whether Bert and Ernie are actually gay (they're not), how absurd it is to discuss same-sex marriage with muppets rather than people (it is), and what it all means. Here's what I think: The fact that we're all still talking about the sexual orientations of early childhood TV show characters just means we have a lot more work to do on LGBT equality and ought to step away from Twitter. Why can't two straight guys cuddle in the dark and watch non-televised daytime judicial proceedings without somebody make it a thing?

As for news meriting real discussion....

What else have you been reading and talking about this week?