Minneapolis mayor goes on the road to promote marriage equality in Minn.

R.T. Rybak

R.T. Rybak

MINNEAPOLIS — Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak is hitting the road to promote the state’s new marriage equality law.

Rybak is hoping to generate tourism revenue by inviting same-sex couples from other states to wed in Minneapolis. Rybak travels to Chicago this week to launch an ad campaign. He also plans visits to Madison and Milwaukee, Wis., and Denver, Colo.

R.T. Rybak

The mayor says he hopes people in Illinois will get the same rights gay couples do in Minnesota, but until then, Rybak says Minneapolis is more than happy to have their business.

“Heck, if we get 30 couples from Chicago to come up here and do a wedding, that’s 30 weddings, 30 wedding parties, 30 rentals of great places, 30 florists,” said Rubak. “You begin to ripple that through the economy — now it’s assumed we’re going to get more than 30 — that’s a lot of money…We really think this could have a very significant financial impact.”

Illinois lawmakers are expected to consider a same-sex marriage law this fall.

Minnesota Public Radio News reports that the Minneapolis Convention and Visitors Association is co-sponsor of Rybak’s “Marry in Minneapolis” campaign. It’s offering free wedding planning services.

Same-sex couples have received nearly 1 in 3 marriage licenses issued in Minnesota since they were allowed to wed on August 1, according to a statewide survey conducted by the Associated Press.

Since Minnesota became the 12th U.S. state to legalize gay marriage, at least 1,640 same-sex couples applied to be married.

Ryback officiated more than 40 weddings between same-sex couples in the first day the law went into effect.

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