Writer: Bert & Ernie ARE gay

PASADENA, CA: Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie ride the 'Music Makes us Family' float in the 116th Tournament Of Roses Parade on January 1, 2005 in Pasadena California. (Photo by Matthew Simmons/Getty Images)

A man who wrote scripts and songs for 15-years for "Sesame Street" now says Muppets Bert and Ernie were gay. It's been a topic for discussion for decades.

In an interview with Queerty, Mark Saltzman said, "And I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert & Ernie, they were. I didn’t have any other way to contextualize them."

Saltzman, who had not publicly come out as gay at the time, said that Bert & Ernie delved into things from his own relationship he was in.  Things that would tick off his partner would be things that would tick off Bert.

For some in the LGBT community, Bert and Ernie have long been seen as gay icons.

A 2011 online petition calling for the pair's nuptials sparked controversy. Chicago resident Lair Scott, who posted the petition, thought of it as a way to make gay and lesbian kids who watch the show feel better about themselves and to promote tolerance for people who are different.

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Sesame Workshop, which produces the long-running children's series, declared in a statement: "They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves." 

The statement also said that the characters were "best friends" and "they remain puppets and do not have a sexual orientation."