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Dublin: 7 °C Sunday 21 September, 2014

Aww: Bert and Ernie make the cover of The New Yorker in gay marriage celebration

The roommates are curled up on a couch watching the US Supreme Court strike down a law restricting the rights of gay people.

(Image: New Yorker magazine)

IN A LANDMARK week for gay rights in the United States, the New Yorker magazine has marked the occasion by putting one of America’s most prominent couples on its cover.

This week’s edition of the magazine features Sesame Street stalwarts and long-time housemates Bert and Ernie curled up together on a couch on the cover, watching the judges of the US Supreme Court after they struck the Defence of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as being between a man and a woman and restricted benefits from being paid to same-sex couples.

The cover, named “Moment of Joy” by Jack Hunter, the artist who created it, was submitted to a Tumblr page unsolicited, but was chosen by editors at the magazine to mark the events of the week.

“It’s amazing to witness how attitudes on gay rights have evolved in my lifetime,” said Hunter. “This is great for our kids, a moment we can all celebrate.”

The cover has provoked strong reactions, with both BuzzFeed and the Huffington Post describing it as “amazing”, and a broadly positive response on Twitter.

However, the cover also has its critics:  Slate describes it as “a terrible way to commemorate a major civil-rights victory for gay and lesbian couples,” pointing out that Bert and Ernie are best friends rather than lovers, while Flavorwire said it belittled the “decades-long – hell, millennia-long – fight for equal rights by needlessly sexualizing a pair of puppets.”

What do you think of the cover? Appropriate? Patronising? Let us know in the comments.

Read: US Supreme Court says law banning benefits for gay couples is unconstitutional >

Read: James Gandolfini talks about feeling scared on Sesame Street >

Read: 13 amazing celebrity appearances on Sesame Street >

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