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Jesse Tyler Ferguson hopes TV role helps gay marriage acceptance

Modern Family star tells Gay Star News marriage foes embrace Mitch & Cam
Jesse Tyler Ferguson
Photo by Greg Hernandez

Jesse Tyler Ferguson was on the Los Angeles set of Modern Family last week when the 9th District U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that California's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.

Between shooting scenes as Mitch on the ABC comedy, Ferguson had taken a pen and made a sign that read: 'How could you not want to see us tie the knot?' and posed holding it with actor Eric Stonestreet who plays his husband, Cam, on the series.

Both actors then sent it out via Twitter.

'We just wanted to capsulate to people that you love these characters so wouldn't you want to see these people happy? That's all it is,' Ferguson told Gay Star News at the 2012 Family Equality Council Awards dinner over the weekend.

Ferguson is aware of the fact that many of the viewers of his show may love Mitch and Cam, a gay couple raising a daughter, may be social conservatives opposed to gay marriage and other forms of LGBT equality.

'It's really no threat to them or their civil rights at all, it's simply equal rights for everyone,' the openly gay actor said. 'I feel like if [Mitch and Cam] are their in to understanding what the situation is, so be it. We'd love to be the catalyst for that. So hopefully that will sort of humanize it a little bit more.'

Ferguson had been up on the latest legal developments in the Proposition 8 case because his boyfriend, lawyer Justin Mikita, works with the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the group that brought the lawsuit that resulted in the ruling.

Same-sex marriage was legal in California for a brief time in 2008 before voters passed Proposition 8 which banned the marriages in the state.

'It's interesting because it's something we had before and it was taken away,' Ferguson said. 'There's something that's sort of bittersweet about that just because we had to fight for something that we shouldn't have had to fight for. It is, I think, the beginning of a very important movement. Hopefully it's going to be something that's not just legal in California but everywhere.'

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