- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 5, 2013

The mayor of Minneapolis is on a mission, heading on Thursday to Chicago to hit up the city’s notoriously gay neighborhoods and persuade those wishing to marry to go north for their ceremonies.

It’s a win-win, Mayor R.T. Rybak said, of his “Marry Me in Minneapolis” campaign, as reported by The Associated Press. Chicago homosexuals locked out by Illinois law from marrying get a government-stamped venue; budget-conscious Minneapolis gets a boost in revenues.

And Mr. Rybak isn’t stopping with Chicago. He plans to head on to Colorado and Wisconsin, and drum up similar business there, AP said.

To Windy City residents, his message is simple: Minneapolis is only a six-hour drive.

“I love Chicago and love to come spend money there, but if people there don’t get the rights they deserve, I am more than happy to have them come and spend their money in Minneapolis,” he said, to AP.

AP reported that at least some gays in Chicago are mulling the idea. But Mayor Rahm Emanuel is upset.

“Failing to extend marriage to gay and lesbian couples is bad for Chicago, bad for Illinois and bad for our local economy and the jobs it creates,” he said, in a statement reported by AP. “Our robust tourism and hospitality industries will thrive most fully when our state hangs out the ‘welcome’ sign for everybody.”

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