Thursday is "Bow Tie Lobby Day" at the Illinois Capitol in Springfield. (photo by Pete Nose/flickr)
By Zach Dietmeier
BLOOMINGTON - A vote could come as early as tomorrow in the Illinois Senate on legislation aimed at legalizing same-sex marriage in Illinois.
Lawmakers have reconvened in Springfield with a plan to consider a proposal legalizing gay marriage, and Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon is leading the push for acceptance.
"It's really folks who we work with, folks who we go to church with, regular families in the state of Illinois who support marriage equality because it's part of our extended family as a state, and it's the right thing to do and the right time to do it," Simon told WJBC's Jim Fitzpatrick on Wednesday.
Simon and actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson, the openly gay star on the hit TV show "Modern Family", said they're launching a ``Bow Tie Lobby Day'' in Springfield on Thursday.
"It's the first and hopefully one of many bow tie days," Ferguson said. "We are calling on people to show up at the State Capitol in their bow ties to show that they are in support of marriage equality."
Ferguson, who plays part of a gay couple on the show, said the bow ties symbolize tying the knot. The bow tie was also a signature of Simon's father, Sen. Paul Simon.
"It was an obvious connection that drew us together in kind of a nice way to make a statement," Simon said.
Ferguson told WJBC it's a matter of equality.
"I hesitate to even say gay marriage because I call it marriage equality," Ferguson said. "We're all Americans and we should all be looking out for each other. We all should be enjoying the same benefits that everyone else enjoys."
To Ferguson, the question of why is simple. He said his support comes "because it's the right thing to do."
Both Ferguson and Simon are encouraging people to wear bow ties on Thursday even if you can't make it to Springfield to show support for the legislation.