Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson has launched a new bow-tie in Illinois to benefit the fight for gay marriage in the state.

The actor and his fiance Justin Mikita were in Springfield on Thursday (02Jan12) to meet with legislators still split on whether to allow same-sex marriages.

A day earlier the couple launched a limited edition bow-tie through their Tie the Knot charity, which will be sold at the city's The Tie Bar to benefit the effort to pass marriage equality laws.

Local gay marriage supporters agreed to don the ties on Thursday as the actor and his partner attempted to lobby senators to sign the measure into law.

Ferguson told reporters, "I certainly respect everyone's right to their opinion but I think at the end of the day we all have to agree that treating any American as a second class citizen is not Ok."