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Simon, 'Modern Family' star to launch gay marriage push 


The Southern
January 2, 2013

CHICAGO – Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon and one of the stars of ABC comedy "Modern Family" will launch a push for marriage equality in Illinois, starting Wednesday in Chicago.

Simon and Jesse Tyler Ferguson plan to launch marriage equality days of action, which will push for the legalization of gay marriage in the state.

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."

Ferguson and his fiancé, Justin Mikita, recently launched a not-for-profit organization called “Tie The Knot,” that sells unique, limited-edition bow ties, with profits going to charitable organizations that are working for marriage equality throughout the country. The bow ties are sold through The Tie Bar, a Naperville-based company which Simon, Ferguson and Mikita will visit on Wednesday afternoon. To commemorate this occasion, Ferguson and Mikita released a limited-edition Signature Black Wedding tie which is available through or by visiting

"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."

If approved, Illinois would be the 10th state in the nation to allow gay marriage.