Popular US television show Modern Family featured a same-sex marriage proposal this week after calls for the gay characters to get hitched.
Creators of the Emmy award-winning ABC show had previously been reluctant to explore the issue of equal marriage in the US, but that changed when Mitchell and Cameron, a gay couple with an adopted daughter, got engaged during Wednesday’s fifth season premier.
The story line incorporated the Supreme Court’s recent decision to strike down Proposition 8, California’s ban on equal marriage.
Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, Jeffrey Richman, screenwriter for the show said they had made the decision now based on the Supreme Court’s decision.
“We hadn’t really talked about Mitch and Cam getting married until DOMA and Prop 8 came onto our radar when we got back to work in the middle of May. We don’t usually do California-centric stories — and while we don’t really identify where the characters live, we knew we weren’t going to send them to another state to get married and they weren’t going to have a fake commitment ceremony. We’d avoided that for four seasons. Mitch and Cam have been in a relationship for eight years, they already are a family and they have a daughter, so there needed to be a reason for them to get married. This became the ‘why now.'”
A campaign was started by ACLU Action in May, ahead of the Supreme Court decision on two equal marriage cases, urging the show to write a wedding episode for two of the main characters, Mitchell and Cameron, a gay couple, and fathers of an adopted child.
James Esseks, director of the LGBT Project at the ACLU, told the Associated Press: ”Mitch and Cam are a couple that America has come to know and love, and seeing them get married, and seeing the characters in the story grapple with their desire to get married, makes it real for a bigger part of America.”