January 4, 2013
By Susan Frick Carlman
It likely surprises no one that Mitchell Pritchett would believe in same-sex marriage.
The fictional character from the ABC hit comedy “Modern Family” is half of a TV couple that also includes Cameron Tucker, portrayed by Eric Stonestreet. But Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who plays the role of Mitchell, has very real-life reasons for lobbying to have marriage between same-sex couples legally recognized from coast to coast.
Ferguson visited Naperville on Wednesday afternoon with his fiance, Justin Mikita, and a group of fellow marriage-equality activists that also included Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon. Their appearance was one of several stops the entourage made to spotlight “Bow Tie Lobby Day,” set for Thursday in Springfield. The initiative aims to convince Illinois lawmakers to sport bow ties displaying their support for same-sex marriage in the state.
Simon — whose dad, the late U.S. Sen. Paul Simon, was rarely seen without a bow tie on — picked up a new bow tie while visiting Naperville’s The Tie Bar, which partnered with Ferguson and Mikita’s nonprofit, Tie The Knot, and hosted the Wednesday event. Tie The Knot produces limited-edition bow ties and donates profits from their sale to organizations promoting gay marriage rights. Its mission is “to advocate for the civil rights of gay and lesbian Americans throughout the United States and to look damn good while doing it,” press materials state.
The foundation’s establishment, however, was a simpler matter than that.
“We wanted to design some bow ties, because we love them,” Ferguson said.