CHICAGO (AP) - Advocates of gay marriage in Illinois are getting a boost from a television star from ABC's "Modern Family."
Jesse Tyler Ferguson is openly gay and plays Mitchell Pritchett on the show. He's launching a "Bow Tie Lobby Day" in Springfield Thursday. It symbolizes tying the knot.
In Chicago on Wednesday, Ferguson said he struggled with coming out but having a president who supports gay marriage gives him hope.
Lawmakers have reconvened in Springfield and plan to consider a proposal legalizing gay marriage.
Supporters say momentum in other states will work in their favor. They've received support from top business executives, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and some clergy members.
However, some religious groups aren't on board. Chicago's Cardinal Francis George has urged parishioners to let legislators know they oppose gay marriage.
Copyright © 2012 Associated Press
Story by 89 WLS reporter Bill Cameron
A vote in Springfield on gay marriage may come as early as tomorrow and proponents have a special name for Thursday at the state capitol.
It's called "Bow Tie Lobby Day" in Springfield, and Lt. Governor Sheila Simon introduced bow-tie wearing actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson of the ABC hit comedy "Modern Family" to promote passage of same sex marriage and to answer Cardinal George's argument that gay marriage is wrong because it's not natural.
Actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson said, "It's a very bigoted way to look at marriage equality and not accept everyone. It's an extremely bigoted opinion. That was a horrible, horrible statement! I'm so sorry!"
And indeed Lt. Governor Sheila Simon put it more diplomatically. She called the cardinal's position "a legal fiction."
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