Jesse Tyler Ferguson has joined a growing chorus of celebs in pushing for passage of the Equality Act, a comprehensive anti-discrimination bill seen by many as the LGBTQ rights movement’s top legislative priority.
The “Modern Family” star and his husband, Justin Mikita, share their experiences in a new video by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a national LGBTQ advocacy group. The video was released first to HuffPost on Friday.
“I’m from New Mexico. A lot of my rights are secured there,” Ferguson says in the clip, seen above. “But if I traveled right next door to Arizona, I could be kicked out of a restaurant for being gay. I could be denied a mortgage for being gay. I could be fired from a job for being gay, and all that’s within a matter of miles.”
“No one’s rights should be determined by what side of the state line they’re on,” he adds.
There is currently no federal law that extends discrimination protections to LGBTQ people nationwide. Anti-discrimination laws vary by state and even locality, a problem the Equality Act aims to fix.
The men, who married in 2013, are the latest to join HRC’s “Americans for the Equality Act” campaign. Olympic skater Adam Rippon, singer Shea Diamond and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) have also appeared in videos released by the organization, which launched the campaign in February with a clip featuring Sally Field and her son Sam Greisman, who is gay.
In an email to HuffPost, HRC President Chad Griffin praised Ferguson and Mikita for being “key voices and partners” in the LGBTQ rights movement, citing their “outspoken visibility” and “longtime activism.”
“Both in the arts and in the public eye, Jesse and Justin are breaking down barriers for our community,” Griffin said. “It’s time for Congress to take action and pass legislation providing clear, comprehensive nationwide non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ Americans.”