SAN DIEGO - An online petition urging Sesame Street to let the puppets Bert and Ernie get married is getting a mixed reception among San Diego parents.
The petition, started by a woman in Illinois, had more than 3,500 signatures as of Wednesday night.
It claims that it is a thinly veiled secret that the iconic friends are gay, and it urges the producers of the PBS children's show to have them marry on the show.
The petition reads: "In this horrific age of LGBT kids taking their own lives, they need to know that they ARE BEAUTIFUL and their lives are worth living. Aside from those that are committing suicide, the bullies that facilitate these tragedies need to learn that homophobia is NOT okay. They need to know that acceptance of their fellow human beings would indeed plant a seed of peace that will reverberate throughout the world. We are not asking that Sesame Street do anything crude or disrespectful. Only that they allow Bert & Ernie to marry or even add a transgender character to the show. It can be done in a tasteful way."
Parents have split views on whether the hit children's television show should do it.
"I would love for gay marriage to be portrayed on Sesame Street," said Anna Ansten. "I'm all for it. I think it's time. I think it's taken too long and I want my son to be accepting."
Marcus Margrum said having Bert and Ernie get married is "crossing the line."
"I think they need to keep it simple and educational. I think they should keep it the way it is right now so there isn't any confusion later on," he said.
Jason Davis said he's heard of the gay rumors regarding Bert and Ernie, but would not let him daughter watch the show if they got married.
"It makes me feel uncomfortable, so therefore I feel it's a little inappropriate," said Davis.
Sesame Street's creators have never said whether Bert and Ernie are gay, and there is no indication they will change their mind with this petition.