Sesame Street released a statement on Thursday that its characters Bert and Ernie are not gay because they are "puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation."

After multiple petitions pleading for the two Muppets to get married, Sesame Street's official Facebook page posted a statement entitled, "Sesame Workshop Statement on Bert and Ernie Petitions."

"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.

 The announcement follows longtime rumors regarding the sexual orientations of Bert and Ernie, prompted by recent Facebook groups and a petition from which has amassed nearly 6,000 signatures begging for the pair to be married.

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. Let us teach tolerance of those that are different. Let Sesame Street and PBS Kids be a big part in saving many worthy lives."

The comic duo was claimed to be gay since the start of Sesame Street when they were introduced during the pilot episode in 1969 on PBS. Created by Jim Henson and Frank Oz, Bert and Ernie are comic roommates living in the basement of 123 Sesame Street and are arguably the stars of Sesame Street.