Jesse Tyler Ferguson, a co-star on the ABC comedy Modern Family, says conservatives tell him the show has changed their minds on gay marriage.

Ferguson, who plays Mitchell, and Eric Stonestreet, who plays Cameron, are one of the three couples featured on the Wednesday night comedy. On the show, the two men are in a committed relationship and raising their adopted daughter Lily.

Ferguson, who is openly gay, told the Winnipeg Free Press that conservatives have embraced the gay TV couple.

β€œIt's shocking isn't it [that gay characters are being embraced]? But also very encouraging. I was prepared for these characters to have a bit of a backlash and it's sort of been the exact opposite. Conservatives come up to us saying, 'You've changed my mind about gay marriage,' or, 'I relate to Cameron and Mitchell and find them very enjoyable and now I'm looking at Bob and Joe down the street and wondering how they're different.' We have gay couples coming up to us, obviously, and saying, 'Thank you so much for being on TV,' or, 'My daughter has someone to point to and say, 'That family is just like mine.'”

Ferguson added that coming out was never an issue for him: β€œI never felt in so it didn't feel like it was terribly difficult to be out.”

Modern Family returns for its third season on September 21.