Mayor Rybak unveils campaign to woo business from Chicago's same-sex couples [IMAGES]

Categories: GLBT, R.T. Rybak
B FRESH Photography for City Pages
When Mayor R.T. Rybak officiated 46 same-sex weddings in the early morning of Aug. 1 -- the day same-sex marriage became legal in Minnesota -- the ceremonies took place at his stomping grounds, Minneapolis City Hall.

But now, Rybak is taking his support for gay marriage on the road. This morning, he arrived in Chicago to unveil a new ad campaign designed to entice Illinois's same-sex couples to bring their wedding parties -- and wedding dollars -- to Minneapolis.

See Also:
- Gay marriage could boost Minnesota economy by $45 million, says report
- VIDEO: Watch Minnesota's first two same-sex newlyweds say their vows
- The 12 best things about gay marriage in Minnesota

"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," Rybak said in a release. "But until that day comes, I'm here to steal your business."

He introduced the campaign, "I Want to Marry You in Minneapolis," at a community center in the city's most historically gay-friendly neighborhood, known as "boystown."

Already, the invitation has gotten one high-profile result: Making Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn go on the defensive.

"Thirteen states have extended marriage to all loving, committed couples -- but Illinois has not," Emanuel said in a joint statement with Quinn and other advocates yesterday. "That is bad for Chicago, bad for Illinois, and bad for our local economy and the jobs it creates."

All this economy talk isn't just hype: same-sex weddings, and their attendant guests and tourism, come with spending -- think parties, rentals, flowers, hotels -- that can be a boon for city business. Before Minnesota passed marriage equality, the Williams Institute at UCLA's law school issued a report estimating that the law could boost the state economy by $45 million over three years.

For Illinois, the institute's figure was even higher: as much as $103 million over three years. Three months ago, Illinois made an attempt of its own to legalize same-sex marriage, but it died in the state legislature.

In his quest to make Minnesota's civil rights victory into an economic one too, Rybak's not stopping with Chicago. Next up, he'll continue his pitch in Madison, Milwaukee, and Denver. Meet Minneapolis, the city's tourism board, isn't slouching either. It's co-sponsoring the out-of-state ad campaign, and is also offering wedding planning free of charge.

Update, 10:24 a.m.:

Here are the two ads, soon to be online and in print in Chicago publications, and created pro bono by local firm Zeus Jones.
Click to enlarge.

And here's the second:

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Lynn Maris
Lynn Maris

Hey Rybak what are you going to do to strengthen MARRIAGE? I dont see you doing anything to prevent teenage pregnancy? To promote familiy? To lower taxes and excessive regulation so families can afford to live in Mpls? What a joke - he is another shameless exploiting politician


Hopefully he can do a better job of wooing Illinois's same-sex couples than he did with DNC officials for the 2012 convention.  Just sayin.


Well, the stadium isn't going to pay for itself.

Julie Tilsen
Julie Tilsen

So, what will the city & the state do with the xtra buck$ made by luring people here to get married?? Unless money gets directly put into resources for queer & trans youth, LGBT healthcare & HIV services ( save YAP!), creating legitimate school space (not just "safe" space), etc, unless this is where the gay money goes, "marriage equality" may as well be called "market commodity." #Dojusticenotcapitalism #Notonourbacks #Morethanamarketniche

Daren L. MN
Daren L. MN

Is is still "love" when divorce hits the GLBT community as well? Equal rights are equal rights. The love part is fun though.


@Julie Tilsen 

More than enough tax dollars have gone towards HIV prevention. The only problem is that no one listens. Apparently, fucking is a right in this country regardless of the consequences. Get knocked up and have no means to support your child? Go on Welfare. Get HIV with no means to pay for your meds? Go on SSDI. Can't control your drinking or drug problems? Go on SSDI. Too fucking fat to walk down the street? Get a free scooter and go on SSDI. 

Like Keith Ellison said, "There is plenty of money (for Social Services), it's just that the Government doesn't have it yet."

This is the mantra of the DFL: "Tax the producers and give to the takers." 

Sounds like a good plan to me.

I think Stalin and Hitler tried that once.................

Didn't exactly turn out right, did it?

But why don't we try it again? It might work this time.

According to DavidFoureyes, it will.

DavidFoureyes topcommenter

@Julie Tilsen Being treated equally means being commodified like the rest of us. This is what equality looks like: No one cares if you're gay, you're just a lump of money.

When there is true equality, the community gets no special treatment for their pet issues, you get ignored like the rest of us unless you put together a PAC to buy and pay for those that make decisions. The LGBT has a leg up in this regard as they've been well-organized for a long the money needs to go from paying for parades to paying for congresspersons. #welcometoequaltreatment

mingtran topcommenter

Wow. Helluva post.

mingtran topcommenter

I was praising your post. It is spot on.

DavidFoureyes topcommenter

@mingtran You think HAARP is involved? Got to be at least a 50% chance.

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