‘Modern Family’ Star Joins Illinois Lt. Gov. For Marriage Push

FergusonjustinModern Family actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon are planning a fashion-forward action this week to push for marriage equality in The Prairie State.

On Wednesday, they’re encouraging voters to call lawmakers and tell them to support marriage equality. Then, on Thursday, they’re organizing Bow Tie Lobby Day at the General Assembly to get equality passed before the end of the current session. Supportive lawmakers have vowed to do just that.

More details, from The Southern Illinoisan:

Simon and Ferguson will be joined by marriage equality advocates to encourage Illinoisans to contact their legislators on Wednesday and join a Bow Tie Lobby Day in Springfield on Thursday that urges the General Assembly to pass marriage equality legislation during the January legislative session, according to a news release from Simon’s office.

“It is our responsibility to ensure that everyone is treated equally under the law, and right now we have a group of citizens that we are treating as second-class,” Simon said. “Bringing marriage equality to Illinois is the right thing to do.”

“Justin and I are thrilled to be participating in Springfield’s Bow Tie Lobby Day. Drawing attention to the importance of marriage equality at this level is exactly why we developed Tie The Knot,” Ferguson said. “We are also excited to see how the citizens and legislators of Illinois do with their bow tying skills.”

Tie the Knot, for those of you who don’t know, is Ferguson and fiance Justin Mikita’s (pictured) organization that designs original bowties and donates a portion of the proceeds to marriage equality causes.

If Illinois’ lawmakers make good and pass equality, it will be the 10th state to let same-sex couples marry. That’s one-fifth of the country – not enough, but a solid base.


  1. Lymis says

    Well, since the Bible itself makes it clear that Sodom and Gomorrah were not destroyed for anything whatsoever to do with gay people, gay sex, or civil equality, it’s not inappropriate to bring it up,

    Ezekeiel 16:49-50:”Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.” God states clearly that he destroyed Sodom’s sins because of their pride, their excess of food while the poor and needy suffered; sexual activity is not even mentioned.

    So, it would follow that in order to avoid similar condemnation, full civil equality for those who society marginalizes, and for their families, would be a necessity.

    Even if the Sodom story is completely warped out of all recognition to be a condemnation of what was done in the story, then it’s a condemnation of attempted nonconsensual man-on-man gang rape by mobs of heterosexual men. I think we can all agree that’s something we can oppose together.

    God clearly feels straight men need more supervision. Perhaps the inspirational example of loving gay and lesbian couples would help bring them along better.

  2. TampaZeke says

    Illinois may make 1/5 of the country’s states marriage equality states but if it and California get marriage equality this year over 1/2 of the country’s population will have marriage equality.

  3. Sean says

    Far more notable than a tv show character, the bow tie is referenced to Sheila Simon’s father, the late-great Paul Simon, whose signature trademark was his bow tie. He was a great man, who endorsed Obama in the ’04 Senate primary before his death, which was the key to his victory.

  4. says

    I met Jesse in passing on the streets of Studio City one day. He was leaving a cafe with a friend, and since I’m such a huge fan of his, I just had to stop and mention it. He was SO polite, kind, and engaging. Even struck up a conversation with me, a very nerdy, geeky hardly dreamy guy. And was so thankful for me being a fan.
    Not all celebs are like this. Trust me. But he was a complete gentlemen.

  5. amir says

    My 85 year old grandpa loves him and the show. They’ve actually become FAR more accepting of gay couples, gay marriage, and gay couples adopting since seeing the show. I know that sounds weird, but my family openly admits Jesse and Modern Family has helped them be more open to gay couples.

  6. LadenLunx says

    People come on a gay blog and start quoting the Bible? the hell does the Bible have to do with my life?!
    It’s scary that a MAN MADE book can rule so much of society

  7. Ian says

    I do wonder: if the majority of this country were to become Muslim, seeing how Christians often argue because they are the majority and for that reasoning their belief systems via their Bible should rule the law of the land, would they be willing to concede laws to muslims if they were to become the majority? Maybe we could stop selling pork in a majority of states due to muslim faiths strict beliefs against pork consumption, and only states that have gone through extensive legislations and multi mullion dollar campaigns after getting a ballot initiative win could sell pork in some limited stores? Why not? Muslims would be the majority and so goes the majority goes the laws. Right Christians?
    Or is it STRICTLY Christian beliefs we should all adhere to?

  8. Diogenes Arktos says

    @Ladenlunx: Welcome to reality! Whether you like it or not, the Bible still has sway in much of the modern world. That’s what it has to do with your life. The good news is that, as shown on this thread, the Bible can be used to support LGBT people. Progressive Christians have been saying so for years. While the Bible has been used for much ill over the centuries, it has also been used for much good. BTW – any LGBT-friendly blog I’ve been on routinely has anti-LGBT comments.

    @Ian: The Religious Right believes Islam to be false, because Christianity it the one and only true religion. Some go further and claim Islam is not even a religion in the sense of the first amendment! Many of the Religious Right believe that the Founding Fathers were true Christians of their stripe of Christianity and therefore set up the US to be a Christian nation in their image – in the face of overwhelming historical evidence to the contrary. You should hear the Religious Right when it comes to religious opposition outside this country, like Saudia Arabia, and what they used to say about the former Soviet Union and its state church.

  9. Dynex says

    Diognes Arktos,

    You’re one bible thumping religious nut, and all your posts on this site indicate that. Let me make this clear to you, you’re religion is nothing but a fake lie, made to control minds and be a pyramid scheme to make money for the corrupt. Water didn’t turn to wine, no sea was parted, no virgin had a baby, and all that other batsh*t quack. Since you insist on shoving your religion down our throats, it’s time we give you crazy religious nuts a piece of our minds. And I encourage everyone do so more often. Especially you. the resident Bible thumper on here.

  10. says

    @ Diognes Arktos
    Your posts seem to contribute nothing of substance related to the original topic and always stray to a tangent trying to recruit people to your religion. In every post. While I think the above poster is a bit sharp tongued, the question does remain, what exactly do folks like you who insistently get defensive about any negative commentary of your religion, and demand we all hear you preach it’s importance hope to accomplish? It reads over zealous, off putting, and frankly, comes off a bit delusional. That you can’t step outside your own religious doctrine and give a rational objection to why it is people are opposed to the institution of religion.

    And more importantly, letting them be and not being so hyper sensitive when they refuse to subscribe to your (chosen. not born into, but volunteered) religion of choice.

    I say this respectfully, but the very last thing the LGBT community responds well to is being preached at.

  11. Duration & Convexity says

    USC Trojans Fan,
    The problem with religion and it’s followers is the umbrella they are trapped in. If those followers spent half the ounce of energy they devote to justifying and overlooking the flaws of religion, and actually called out their own, and tried to ‘clean house’….I’m certain religion would garner far more respect in modern society. Their refusal to do so, coupled with their adamant campaign to make you see religion from the religious lens and strictly the good, does them a huge disservice to people who simply aren’t afraid to objectively see the good & bad. Unfortunately for organized religion, the bad far outweigh the good. So if you truly want to see acceptance of your religion, do more good, police the bad, and hold those under your own umbrella accountable. Vocally.

  12. 2 Dads says

    ….And whether you like it or not, an overwhelming majority of people are walking away from religion, rejecting organized religion, and choosing not to be affiliated with religion entirely. This time period more so than ever before. In fact, church attendance is at an all time low compared to any other generation before toda. Also, atheism and agnosticism are at an all time high. Something for those of you who are religious to think about. And you can’t blame gays for that either.

  13. LandenLunx says

    nope. fail, but nice calculating religious spin. The Bible has nothing to do with my life. Absolutely nothing. I make a point of never being brain washed by any cult or cult like figure. It has zero power or control over my presence. When people try to force me to make way for the Bible’s presence in my life, or hear about it at inappropriate times, I will then go out of my way to point out just how insignificant their religion is to me and is as a whole. much to their dismay of course. but hey, don’t like the water? don’t jump in the pool.

  14. EchtKultig says

    Sodom and Gomorrah

    Posted by: Truth | Dec 31, 2012 1:40:57 PM

    LOL. An angry closet case is jealous of Jesse and his cute boyfriend.
    Think you’re going to single-handedly stop the gay rights revolution by reminding us of a particularly silly passage from your book of stone age fairy tales? Guess what sugar…I have a feeling that’s not gonna work out for ya.

  15. Eddie says

    When will people accept that the existence of a god and any religious tenets that arise from the belief in that god are just their opinion and not a fact? Whether you believe god is a woman with blue skin and six arms or an old white guy with a long beard, you need to accept that you could be completely wrong – you have no proof of the existence of god beyond your faith in it. And making laws punishing people for not living by your opinion of what a god wants that you interpreted second hand (or 11,563rd hand) from a book is ridiculous.

  16. Oz in OK says

    Well to be honest, I had never heard of Jesse Tyler Ferguson until Modern Family, but wow I’m glad I know of him now!

    I’ve watched him in interviews, on Twitter and other social media and he has been consistently witty, kind and funny as hell – not to mention just as cute as can be.

    I’m very glad to see him and his boyfriend (who is quite the hottie as well) invested in the fight for Marriage Equality. Awesome stuff!

  17. Diogenes Arktos says

    Interesting Rohrschach test… I’m a mathematician by training and I tend to speak elliptically. Here’s a second attempt. Spin? No – read on. Shoving religion down your throat? No – read on. Bad thread etiquette? No. I was posting direct answers to direct questions.
    I have precisely two points to my agenda about the space of religion/spirituality/nones. (1) I hope that you are happy with whatever path you choose (2) I hope you acknowledge the reality of the demographics of 2013.
    Religion for ill and for better plays a significant role for most of the world. Christianity, for example, has over 1 billion adherents. That’s significant in and of itself. These people deem some flavor of Christianity and interpretation of the Bible as directly normative for their lives. More importantly, the geopolitical reality is that Christianity is a dominant force in the world – especially given that over 50% of the US self-identifies as Christian. Therefore, everyone in the world is at least indirectly affected by Christianity and the Bible – even if to oppose it. The same – without the sizable US component – is true for Islam and the Qur’an. While its numerical footprint is very small, because of geopolitical issues, Judaism and the Tanakh (=”Old Testament”) are similarly important. Everyone in the world is at least indirectly affected by (at least) these three religions.
    Speaking from broad experience with various flavors of Christianity and Judaism, I have of course encountered anti-LGBT people. More importantly, however, I know LGBT people and straight allies. My experience of Islam is too limited, but based on what I have read, there is the same profile.
    Contrary to some people’s beliefs, nones are not always supportive. I have talked with some nones, who, for whatever reason, retain a childhood anti-LGBT stance. I have also talked with people who espouse a “natural law” approach to ethics. Remember, that some in the humanities are as anti-science as some in the Religious Right.
    I am perfectly aware of the great shifts going on in the space of religion/spirituality/nones. All that matters at present is the current percentages of who is where – not the trends. There is another important shift: belief flows from left to right. When an idea is proved viable by the left-wing of an organization, it sometimes – certainly not always – filters to the right. LGBT issues is a great example. The younger Christians to the right of moderate are increasingly LGB T-friendly, much to their elders’ dismay. (Unfortunately, science in general hasn’t succeeded so well.) Again, all that matters at present is the current percentage of who is where – not the trends.
    It strikes me as a bit odd to claim that in the quest for LGBT rights in 2013, we are not directly impacted by (non-LGBT friendly) flavors of Christianity and the Bible. Particularly when we have had too many hubristic, irrational proclamations from the RC hierarchy… We need to respond to religion with religion. The good news is that we do have LGBT people and straight allies in religion. We should rejoice in this support, not squelch it.

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