Minnesota state flagPost submitted by Mitchell Scuzzarella, HRC Digital Media Intern

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Ryback is unveiling an ad campaign in Chicago aimed at drawing same-sex couples who can’t marry in Illinois out to Minnesota to tie the knot. 

Mayor Ryback’s intent in attracting same-sex couples is to capitalize on the economic benefits that marriage equality brings to those states that allow it.

After stalling on the marriage bill back in May, Illinois will miss out on the estimated $103 million dollars same-sex couples would generate in spending to the local economy, according to the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute.

Already, business leaders from Barclays, Hyatt Hotels, Ernst & Young, J.P. Morgan, the Chicago Cubs and Johnson Publishing have spoken out in favor of marriage equality in Illinois. 

“To be competitive, a state must create an equitable, fair and respectful environment for all of its citizens,” said business leaders in a letter published by Illinois Unites for Marriage. “For this reason – among others – it is vitally important that Illinois lawmakers enact marriage equality soon.”

Other states that have passed marriage equality are already seeing the economic benefits of the decision. One year after marriage equality took effect in his state, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that same-sex marriage provided $259 million in economic benefits to the city of New York. 

In Minnesota, it’s estimated that marriage equality will bring $45 million to the state through increased spending on wedding and tourism businesses and through a rise in total state and local tax revenue. 

According to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Illinois’ failure to vote on the marriage equality bill is “bad for Chicago, bad for Illinois, and bad for our local economy and the jobs it creates.” 

HRC continues to work with Illinois Unites for Marriage in hopes of soon securing marriage equality for all couples in the state. Until then, however, Mayor Ryback can continue to capitalize on the benefits of inviting same-sex couples to marry in his own city.

Filed under: Marriage

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