Jesse Tyler Ferguson Promotes Gay Marriage in Illinois

11:23 AM PST 01/03/2013 by Jordan Zakarin
Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images

The "Modern Family" star spent Wednesday in Chicago, then met with lawmakers in the state capital on Thursday as the legislature looks to legalize same-sex marriage.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson is looking to help gay couples tie the knot in Illinois.

The Modern Family star and gay rights advocate has spent the past two days in the Midwestern state, which is considering whether to become the 10th state to legalize same-sex marriage. On Wednesday, Ferguson and his fiance, Justin Mikita, visited Chicago, where their nonprofit, Tie the Knot, teamed with the company The Tie Bar to introduce a limited-edition formal bowtie that will be sold to benefit the effort to pass marriage-equality laws.

Ferguson and Mikita worked with the state's lieutenant governor, Sheila Simon, to establish Bow Tie Lobby Day, which will see gay marriage supporters don the ties Thursday.

"I certainly respect everyone's right to their opinion, but I think at the end of the day we all have to agree that treating any American as a second-class citizen is not OK," Ferguson told the press on Wednesday.

Ferguson is in Springfield on Thursday lobbying the state senate to pass the measure. He tweeted a photo of himself at the lieutenant governor's desk, calling senators on behalf of the law.

President Obama, a former Illinois state senator, also recently endorsed the state's adoption of marriage equality.

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