Video: US radio host says the New Yorker ‘promoted child abuse’ with Bert and Ernie equal marriage cover

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A US radio host has weighed in on the media attention surrounding the Supreme Court ruling on DOMA last week, to say that the New Yorker magazine “promoted child abuse”, by featuring Sesame Street characters embracing at the news on its cover.

This week’s cover over the magazine features Bert and Ernie embracing on a sofa, while an image of the US Supreme Court Justices appears on their television screen.

Bryan Fischer, a Christian radio host, made the comments whilst speaking on his Focal Point programme, saying the pair were engaged in a “homosexual clinch”.

“I don’t know which is which”, he said, continuing: “This is grossly irresponsible for The New Yorker to promote this, they really are promoting child endangerment and they are promoting child abuse.”

Fischer also quoted figures from the heavily criticised Regnerus Study, published in July 2012, which was titled “How Different Are The Adult Children of Parents Who Have Same-sex Relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study”. Its findings were refuted by many and deemed “flawed and misleading”.

The Sesame Street characters have been widely assumed to be a couple, despite denials by producers of the long-running children’s television programme.

Back in 2011, a petition signed by more than 10,000 people called for the characters to get married.

At the time, a Sesame workshop statement said: “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 the Sesame Street Muppets … possess many human traits and characteristics, they have no sexual orientation.”

On Wednesday, the US Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which federally defined marrage as between one man and one woman. 

In the second case, around California’s Proposition 8, the Supreme Court ruled that such a ruling was not in its jurisdiction, nor was it in the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit Court, which previously ruled, therefore deferring the decision to a previous ruling by a district court which decided the ban was unconstitutional. 

These cases were seen as key in the campaign for equality in the US, and have been widely reported.