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MODERN FAMILY - ABC's "Modern Family" stars Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Mitchell and Eric Stonestreet as Cameron. (ABC/BOB D'AMICO)
ABC's hit show "Modern Family" earned another accolade; not for it's punchlines or comedic timing, but for it's portrayal of diversity in America Friday night at the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network Respect Awards, reported the AP.
The Emmy-award winning comedy stood out from the crowd with the talents of actors Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet who play a gay couple caring for their adorable infant daughter.
Although the show was praised as a positive example of diversity in the media, Ferguson admitted that the message of acceptance still has a bumpy road ahead with the recent surge of teen suicides propelled by ant-gay bullying.
"I do have the same sort of mixed feeling, in the light of everything that's happened," said Ferguson to the AP. "However, I think an event like this echoes the sentiment that we need to change. This cannot continue happening."
Ferguson, who is openly gay, added that as a teenager he faced the cruel taunts and trauma caused by anti-gay bullies.
"I actually had to leave eighth grade and go to another school because it got so bad, so I certainly sympathize with these kids," he said.
Eric Stonestreet, who is straight and plays Ferguson's onscreen partner, said the show has received "amazing compliments from kids of same sex marriage families."
"We want to make people laugh, that's our first goal," said Stonestreet after his Emmy win for best supporting actor. "But the idea that we get to open people's minds and hearts to realize that people are more similar than they are different a real honor to be able to do."
Co-star Sofia Vergara weighed in that acceptance of homosexuality will take more than a TV show or an award, especially in the Latin community.
"The Latin community is a very Catholic," said the Colombian actress to the AP. "So, it's always a problem for people to accept it, and they live in denial for many years, the parents, and prefer not to address the problem. And that's when tragedies and things happen. And, you know, it's hard. You're not going to change things in one day."