Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson has pledged $10,000 of his own funds to marriage equality efforts in Australia.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson's 'Modern' proposal
Modern Family star hits out against Australian same-sex marriage laws ahead of sitcom's February visit, pledging support for local marriage equality efforts.
Tyler Ferguson, who plays gay father Mitchell Pritchett in the show, has voiced his joy about the shoot, saying "we couldn't be more excited", with executive producer Steve Levitan promising to feature "a kangaroo, a koala and a boomerang".
The 38-year-old actor, who is a public marriage equality advocate, founded the Tie the Knot foundation with his partner Justin Mikita in 2012 to raise funds and awareness for gay marriage.
"Tie The Knot has always focused its efforts on marriage equality in the United States, but there is no doubt in my mind that this is a great opportunity to bring attention to the journey toward marriage equality that Australia is currently embarking on," Tyler Ferguson wrote in a blog posted on Tie the Knot's website.
"We have great faith in their strength and perseverance…. so much so I am personally pledging $10,000 toward the marriage equality efforts in Australia."
He said he was saddened to hear that Australia's High Court had overturned laws permitting same sex couples to marry and any marriages that occurred during its legalisation (between October and December) had been annulled.
“Having been through a similar situation with Proposition 8 here in California, we could really empathize with the frustration and sadness of those who supported and fought for marriage equality,” he wrote.
“Newlyweds ourselves, Justin and I kept thinking how devastated we would have been if suddenly we were no longer recognized as a legal couple.”
Tyler Ferguson married his partner of two years Mikita, last July. And spent late November, last year, in Sydney and Melbourne, where they "immediately fell in love with Australia".
"I think Ozzies (sic) are officially the coolest people on this planet. Oh, and their meat pies are amazing," he added.
Rodney Croome, National Director of Australian Marriage Equality, says he is pleased about the US actor's generosity and commitment to marriage equality.
"Jesse's concern for marriage equality in Australia is shared by many people overseas who want to see us catch up with our closest friends and allies like the US, Britain, Canada and New Zealand," he said.
Croome said he would like to see the pledge go towards community education campaigns and mobilising grassroots support in key electorates.
"We need to ensure that all modern families have their voices heard," he added.
The Modern Family star also made a special guest appearance on Project Runway season 12 as part of a Tie the Knot foundation bow tie challenge.
Contestant Bradon McDonald was so inspired by Tyler Ferguson and his foundation that he proposed to his partner Josh of 18 years live on the show.
Season 12 of Project Runway is currently airing on Arena in Australia.
Last January Tie the Knot was able to raise $50,000 for Human Rights Campaign, America's largest LGBT rights organisations, from a single line of bow ties.