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Sunday, March 03, 2024
Soglin, Rybak same-sex marriage press conference

Minneapolis mayor invites same-sex couples to marry in Minn.

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak teamed up with Madison Mayor Paul Soglin Monday, encouraging same-sex couples denied the right to marry in Wisconsin to venture across state lines to Minnnesota to legally tie the knot.

This is not the first time Rybak expressed his support of same-sex marriage. At midnight on Aug. 1, when Minnesota’s recent legalization of same-sex marriage went into effect, Rybak officiated 46 same-sex weddings in the Minnesota Capitol rotunda over a six-hour period.

Rybak said he strongly believes in the institution of marriage, which by his definition is not exclusive to heterosexual couples.

“The last time I checked,” Rybak said of the marriages he performed Aug. 1, “not a single thing about that impacted my marriage ... or any of the other marriages in the state of Minnesota, but it made a whole lot of people happy.”

Rybak claims the effects of legalizing same-sex marriages extend to the economy, referencing tax-return incentives that are non-existent in Wisconsin that exist for same-sex couples with entrepreneurial businesses in Minnesota. He also mentioned the profits businesses in the wedding industry accrue with an increased number of weddings.

“We hope someday that this strategic advantage is taken away from Minnesota,” Rybak said.

Soglin distinguished college students as a vital part of the movement to achieve marriage equality in Wisconsin.

“University of Wisconsin-Madison students and students throughout the state will be the leaders in terms of changing our backward perspective on this ... they are more open, they are more tolerant, they are more understanding, they are brighter when it comes to this question,” Soglin said. “That’s why the change is inevitable.” 

Marriage equality is in Wisconsin’s future, according to Katie Belanger, president and CEO of Fair Wisconsin, a Wisconsin-based organization dedicated to “ensuring that caring and committed couples, regardless of sexual orientation, have the legal protections necessary to care for each other,” according to its website.

“Regardless of where our state Legislature is, the people of Wisconsin know that marriage equality is on the horizon and that we will get there,” Belanger said at the event.

Rybak concluded his address to Wisconsinites by saying, “We want to marry you in Minneapolis, and someday we want to marry a whole lot of people here in Madison.”

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