Rybak on road to invite same-sex couples to marry in Minnesota

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Minneapolis R.T. Rybak is on the road drumming up potential business for Minnesota now that same-sex marriage is legal in the state, Minnesota Public Radio reports.

Rybak -- who has officiated 46 same-sex weddings since they became legal in the state Aug. 1 -- is traveling to Chicago this week to launch the "Marry in Minneapolis" campaign to entice same-sex couples to come to the state to get married.

Trips are also planned to Madison, Wis., Milwaukee and Denver, MPR says.

The ad campaign is being co-sponsored by the Minneapolis Convention and Visitors Association. Among the perks are wedding planning services, which are being offered to same-sex couples outside of Minnesota to help get bids from local vendors.

Rybak believes the impact of hosting same-sex weddings could be huge.

If the mayor is to get any business from Chicago, he'll need to hurry. The Illinois state Legislature is considering a same-sex marriage bill this fall.

Rybak tells MPR that he hopes "people in Illinois get the same rights couples do in Minnesota, but until then, we're more than happy to have their business."

Meanwhile, same-sex marriages in the state are on the upswing.

The Associated Press reported earlier this week that same-sex couples accounted for one-third of the marriage licenses that have been issued in the state since Aug. 1.

Based on figures obtained from 83 of Minnesota's 87 counties, The AP survey found that 1,640 gay and lesbian couples have applied to be wed since the same-sex marriage law went into effect.

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