Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak on Thursday headed to Chicago,
Illinois to drum up gay marriage business for his city and state.
At a press conference held at the Center on Halsted, Rybak
unveiled a new advertising campaign aimed at attracting gay and
lesbian couples to Minnesota to exchange vows.
“Chicago is my kind of town, but right now, it's a second city
in human rights,” Rybak told reporters. “Right now that gives a
tremendous competitive advantage to Minneapolis. The people who
built this neighborhood, who have done so much incredible work for
this community, you deserve equal rights. Come to Minnesota, a place
that already recognizes that you should have those rights.”
A law allowing gay couples to marry took effect on August 1 in
Minnesota, making it only the second state in the Midwest to
recognize such unions, the other being Iowa. While Illinois
recognizes gay couples with civil unions, a marriage law stalled
earlier this year in the Illinois House. The federal government has
announced that it will not recognize civil unions or domestic
partnerships for the purpose of benefits, providing an added
incentive for couples to travel outside Illinois to marry.
The I Want to Marry You in Minneapolis ad campaign is
sponsored by Minneapolis' convention and visitors' association.
According to ChicagoPride.com,
it will launch in multiple cities, including Chicago, Milwaukee,
Madison and Denver.
However, Chicago, America's largest city with a marriage ban, is
the Midwest's most promising market for gay brides and grooms by a
“So come on up to Minneapolis,” Rybak continued. “Some day,
I hope Mayor [Rahm] Emanuel can come up and try to steal the same
type of business out of Minneapolis. But in the meantime, welcome to
Minneapolis. We want to marry you.” (The video is embedded on
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