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CHICAGO (AP) - Advocates of gay marriage in Illinois are getting a boost from a television star from ABC's "Modern Family."

Jesse Tyler Ferguson is openly gay and plays Mitchell Pritchett on the show. He's launching a "Bow Tie Lobby Day" in Springfield Thursday. It symbolizes tying the knot.

In Chicago on Wednesday, Ferguson said he struggled with coming out but having a president who supports gay marriage gives him hope.

Lawmakers have reconvened in Springfield and plan to consider a proposal legalizing gay marriage.

Supporters say momentum in other states will work in their favor. They've received support from top business executives, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and some clergy members.

However, some religious groups aren't on board. Chicago's Cardinal Francis George has urged parishioners to let legislators know they oppose gay marriage.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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