11:44am PT by Lesley Goldberg
A 'Modern Family' Wedding? The ACLU Wants One
The ACLU wants to see a Modern Family wedding.
The nonprofit group on Wednesday launched ModernFamilyWedding.com, a petition letting producers of the ABC comedy know that Americans will tune in to see Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cam (Eric Stonestreet) tie the knot.
"We’re doing this not just because we love Modern Family, but because we are at a watershed moment when the Supreme Court is considering two cases regarding the freedom to marry; when states are passing marriage equality laws with increasing frequency; and a majority of Americans support marriage equality," the wedding-themed invitation reads. "And the freedom to marry is being advanced in American living rooms as much as in court rooms."
The online petition comes after a November Hollywood Reporter survey found that gay characters on TV -- including couples on the recently renewed Modern Family and Grey's Anatomy -- were helping drive voters to a historically unprecedented support of gay marriage. The ACLU noted as much in its announcement Wednesday, noting that TV characters help to shape public consciousness, citing events including Ellen's coming out and fare including Will & Grace.
"For many, Mitch and Cam are the gay couple with whom they interact with the most," the ACLU noted. "Inviting 13 million people to Mitch and Cam’s wedding will only bring more people into the push for marriage equality."
The ACLU's move comes after a particularly rough week for LGBT characters on TV. Following a 2012-13 broadcast season that featured a record number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender characters, this past week's wave of cancellations -- which included The New Normal, Smash, Go On as well as Southland and Happy Endings -- will drastically change those results.
"The sheer number of characters who will no longer be on the air means diversity on television is once again at risk," GLAAD national spokesman Wilson Cruz told The Hollywood Reporter following the cancellations. "Following a season with the highest recorded number of LGBT characters, these cancellations mean networks have to make a concerted effort to ensure the 2013-2014 season truly reflects the diversity of their audience. With inclusive programs like Modern Family and Glee continuing to lead the ratings and collect praise from critics, it's in a network's best interest."
Meanwhile, two new gay-themed shows have been ordered to series in the past week: NBC's Sean Saves the World, starring Sean Hayes as a single gay father; and HBO's untitled Jonathan Groff comedy about a group of gay friends in San Francisco.
For his part, Ferguson and his fiancé Justin Mikita launched Tie the Knot, a nonprofit that will raise money for marriage equality through the sale of the Modern Family star's trademark bow ties.