Wiping tears from his eyes, an emotional Jesse Tyler Ferguson speaks emotionally about what it meant to him to have President Barack Obama publicly support gay marriage earlier this year.
‘If I was a 15-year-old kid in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and I watched the evening news with my parents and the sitting president of the United States said, ‘I support gay marriage,’ that would have changed a lot,’ Ferguson says in a new Obama campaign video featuring famous LGBT Americans.
Wiping tears from his eyes and his voice cracking, the Modern Family star added: ‘I don’t know if he knows how many lives he’s changing by saying that simple thing – he’s saving lives really. It’s very moving and I wish I had that when I was a kid and I’m so happy for the kids who have that now.’
Joining Ferguson on the Obama Pride: LGBT Americans for Obama video are Glee star Jane Lynch, George Takei, Zachary Quinto, Chaz Bono and tennis legend Billie Jean King.
Sykes said in the video when Obama spoke of his support for same-sex marriage during an interview with ABC’s Robin Roberts, ‘I wept.’
‘I was just so happy,’ Sykes says. ‘I meant the world to me and to my family and to the life that my kids will have.’
Star Trek icon Takei remembers calling husband Brad Altman after the ABC interview and ‘sharing the joy of hearing our president making such a bold and principled statement of equality. We reveled in that.’
Quinto, alum on TV’s Heroes and Mr. Spock in the new Star Trek movies, also shares his reaction to the interview: ‘Having the President of the United States declare his belief that gay couples should be allowed to marry and to use the word ‘marry’ – it was incredibly inspiring to watch.’
King, who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Obama in 2009, spoke of being homophobic for much of her life and not feeling comfortable as a lesbian until she was 51 – already more than a decade into her 33-year relationship with retired tennis pro Ilana Kloss.
‘In the old days, we always hid and now we don’t have to hide,’ King says. ‘I’ve waited a long time for that and there’s a lot of people in their graves who had to wait forever. They had to live their whole lives underground.’
Adds King: ‘It’s amazing how each generation just keeps pushing the ball forward. President Obama has pushed it forward faster than anyone in the history of our community.’
But Lynch warns that progress on LGBT issues are in peril if Obama is not elected to a second term next month: ‘All it takes is someone like (Republican Presidential nominee) Mitt Romney in The White House and we can roll back rights, we can lose them.’
Adds King: ‘You always have to protect change because it’s very easy to slide backward.’