CHICAGO - Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak says he hopes Illinois lawmakers legalize same-sex marriage but in the meantime he wants gay and lesbian couples to get married in his city - and spend lots of money on their weddings.
Rybak was in Chicago on Thursday morning where he kicked off a campaign to encourage same-sex couples to head north to tie the knot in Minnesota, which recently legalized gay marriages.
The campaign theme is "I Want to Marry You in Minneapolis," and invites same-sex couples from Chicago and Illinois to make the trip to Minneapolis to get legally married. The mayor made this morning's announcement at the Center on Halsted, the largest and most comprehensive LGBTQ community center in the Midwest.
Both print and digital ads will be used to target same-sex couples that will come to the Twin Cities to get married and spend money in the process.
"Folks from Minneapolis and Chicago know each other well: we visit each other often to take in theater, restaurants, museums, shopping, sports, you name it. Now Chicagoans have another great reason to come to Minneapolis: to get married," Rybak said. "Gay and lesbian couples from Chicago don't have to wait one more day to get married in Minneapolis. We're a supportive and welcoming city where folks are ready to help them put together the wedding of their dreams."
Rybak says he's not trying to anger Mayor Rahm Emanuel by coming to Chicago to recruit same-sex couples and their business. But he says Emanuel would be doing the same thing if the situation were reversed.
The mayor will also travel to Milwaukee, Madison and Denver to launch the campaign in those cities.