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Minneapolis mayor makes marriage pitch to Chicago's same-sex couples

Sept. 5, 2013 at 2:31 PM

CHICAGO, Sept. 5 (UPI) -- The mayor of Minneapolis says he is helping to roll out an advertising campaign urging same-sex Chicago couples to travel to his city to marry.

The "Marry Me in Minneapolis" campaign comes after a Minnesota law permitting same-sex marriages went into effect Aug. 1, and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak's visit to Chicago Thursday to unveil the drive comes three months after a similar law failed in the Illinois legislature, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Same-sex weddings represent a potentially lucrative part of the tourism industry. The Williams Institute, a sexual orientation and gender identity researcher, estimates same-sex marriage in Illinois could spur as much as $103 million in wedding and tourism spending over three years.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel says Illinois' lack of same-sex marriages is "bad for Chicago, bad for Illinois and bad for our economy and the jobs it creates," and that the city's hospitality and tourism industries will thrive when Illinois "hangs out the welcome sign for everybody."

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