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‘Modern Family’ star Ty Burrell headlines gay marriage fundraiser

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Jesse Tyler Ferguson isn’t the only “Modern Family” star stepping up for marriage equality. Ty Burrell, who plays goofy dad Phil Dunphy on the hit comedy show, headlined a fundraiser Thursday evening in Salt Lake City. The event was organized by a group backed by Ferguson to help raise money for gay couples fighting Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Burrell dedicated his time and voice to the event attended by 100 people. He gave recognition to the change that is taking place throughout the nation in terms of opinion about gay marriage. That change is currently occurring and reoccurring in federal courts nationwide as marriage bans are being overturned. One of those states is the state of Utah. Although the state’s gay couples that married during the seventeen days after the ban was lifted are currently entrenched in legal limbo, there is still much progress to celebrate.

He told The Associated Press, “To see some of my best friends getting married really feels like a miracle. And it’s been cool to be in Utah for it too because people are much more tolerant and open and loving about that issue than I think they get credit for.”

The television dad said he sees gay marriage in the United States as an unstoppable force. He told those who attended the event, “It’s really a tide of people understanding that love is love, and that there’s no going back.” That understanding was highlighted on the season finale of “Modern Family” in which Burrell’s character officiated the same-sex wedding of the show’s gay couple. It was a first for television, but also mirrored that tide of change Burrell mentions.

Ferguson and his real-life husband, Justin Mikita, sold a bow tie designed by Burrell at the event. The couple founded the Tie The Knot organization in support of gay marriage. The event also comes as gay marriage advocates and supporters wait for a federal appeals court in Denver to decide whether Utah’s same-sex marriage ban, overturned in December by a federal judge, is constitutional. Ty Burrell hosted the event in his partially owned downtown clothing store.

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