Minneapolis Attempts to Lure Chicago Same-Sex Couples

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak was in Chicago Thursday to unveil a new digital and print campaign designed to convince Chicago same-sex couples to legally marry in his city.

The "I Want To Marry You In Minneapolis" ads have already started appearing in local publications such as the Windy City Times, and feature the owners of Minneapolis businesses who are ready to help Chicago couples "plan an unforgettable wedding day."

Rybak, a vocal proponent of same-sex marriage in Minesota, discussed the campaign Thursday morning at a news conference at Boystown's Center on Halsted.

"Chicago is my kind of town, but it's a second city with human rights, and right now that gives an incredible competitive advantage to Minneapolis," Rybak said. "I hope the day comes very soon that all Illinoisans can marry the person that they love, and I strongly encourage the Legislature and Governor Quinn to pass marriage equality as soon as possible -- but until that day comes, I'm here to steal your business."

When asked if poaching business on another mayor's turf was fair, Rybak quipped, "Have you met him, Mayor Emanuel? He would do it to me any day of the week I'm sure."

Rybak made headlines on Aug. 1 when he performed 46 same-sex weddings from midnight to almost 7 a.m. to celebrate the first day that Minnesotans were allowed to legally marry. Since then, one-third of marriage applications in Minnesota have been for same-sex couples.

Illinois approved civil unions in 2011, but lawmakers failed to call gay marriage to a vote during this year's spring session. The Legislature is expected reconsider the measure during the November session.

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