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Why the ACLU Is Trying to Influence the Storyline on a Major TV Sitcom THR

The American Civil Liberties Union is lobbying for a storyline on a major television comedy series. The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed reports that the advocacy group wants the characters Cam and Mitch from ABC’s "Modern Family" to get married.

The group launched a website, ModernFamilyWedding.com, which includes a petition to alert the producers that Americans will watch if Mitch and Cam -- played by Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet, respectively -- exchange vows. The effort is a bid by the ACLU to raise awareness for marriage equality.

"We’re doing this not just because we love ‘Modern Family,’ but because we are at a watershed moment when the Supreme Court is considering two cases regarding the freedom to marry; when states are passing marriage equality laws with increasing frequency; and a majority of Americans support marriage equality," the ACLU said.

Gay characters on TV have helped generate support for same-sex marriage, according to a Hollywood Reporter survey in November.

The report notes: “The ACLU's move comes after a particularly rough week for LGBT characters on TV. Following a 2012-13 broadcast season that featured a record number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender characters, this past week's wave of cancellations -- which included ‘The New Normal,’ ‘Smash,’ ‘Go On’ as well as ‘Southland’ and ‘Happy Endings’ -- will drastically change those results.”