Bert and Ernie, Sesame Street's favorite longtime roommates, are not getting married -- because they're not gay, or straight, for that matter.
Earlier this month, inspired by New York state's recent legalization of gay marriage, an online petition argued the case that the popular Muppet characters wed one another.
But Sesame Workshop nixed that idea in a statement posted on the official Sesame Street Facebook page on Thursday:
"Bert and Ernie are best friends. 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."
With over 8,000 total signatures, the original petition read: "We are not asking that Sesame Street do anything crude or disrespectful by allowing Bert and Ernie to marry. It can be done in a tasteful way. Let us teach tolerance of those that are different. Let Sesame Street and PBS Kids be a big part in saving many worthy lives."