Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak invites gay couples to get married in Minnesota

Mayor launches 'Marry Me in Minneapolis' campaign

CHICAGO - Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak has a message for same-sex couples in Illinois: Come north to get married.

Same-sex marriage was recently legalized in Minnesota and Rybak launched a "Marry Me in Minneapolis" campaign in a predominantly gay neighborhood of Chicago Thursday.

Rybak is personally inviting gay and lesbian couples frustrated by waiting for Illinois to legalize gay marriage to take their vows in his city instead.

There are thousands of same-sex couples in Illinois. Rybak says if a fraction of them took him up on his offer, it could mean millions of dollars to his city as Minneapolis businesses profit on everything from hotel rooms to wedding cakes.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel reacted to Rybak's planned visit by saying the state's failure to extend marriage to gay and lesbian couples hurts the local economy and its tourism industry.

Rybak plans similar visits to Colorado and Wisconsin.

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