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Mayor Invites Illinois Couples To Minn.

CHICAGO (AP) -- Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak has a message for Illinois' same-sex couples: Come north to get married.

He's launching a "Marry Me in Minneapolis" campaign Thursday in Chicago that he hopes will prompt gay and lesbian couples who may be tired of waiting for Illinois to legalize gay marriage to marry in his city instead.

There are thousands of same-sex couples in Illinois. Rybak says if a fraction of them took him up on his offer, it could mean millions of dollars to his city as Minneapolis businesses profit on everything from hotel rooms to wedding cakes.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel reacted to Rybak's planned visit by saying the state's failure to extend marriage to gay and lesbian couples hurts the local economy and its tourism industry.

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