A tongue-in-cheek advertising campaign created by a Minneapolis-St Paul agency is encouraging the city’s LGBT community to embrace the Republican National Convention.

One ad features a gay couple kissing on a park bench next to a lesbian couple.

When they spot two archetypal middle-aged Republicans coming towards them, they reform into two straight couples.

The Republicans are in the city this week for their convention, where they will formally nominate John McCain as their Presidential candidate.

Senator Mc Cain opposes gay adoption and gay marriage.

“Regardless of your political leaning, everyone in the Metro area should open their arms (or at least be Minnesota-nice) to our guests during the Republican National Convention,” according to the UnConvention.

The group, “a non-partisan collective of citizens that promotes the democratic and free exchange of ideas on important issues,” is promoting the Make An Effort campaign.

“An advertising campaign created by Twin Cities advertising agency, Campbell Mithun, encourages you to find your own way to graciously welcome our many visitors–as well as participate in the many non-partisan activities going on in town during the RNC.

“Check out the campaign and pass it along!”

Other ads feature a tattooed youth changing his look to a suit and tie, in order to make the Republicans feel more comfortable.

Reporting from Minneapolis, The Guardian’s Oliver Burkeman said the city was a strange choice for the Repubicans.

“It’s fair to say that Minnesota, which has voted Democrat in every presidential election since 1976, had mixed feelings about its summer guests,” he wrote.

“Where Denver international airport teemed last week with volunteers to welcome newcomers, the airport serving Minneapolis and St Paul offered balloons and an LED screen.”

A second ad is set in a bathroom, perhaps a nod to the troubles of Republican Senator Larry Craig.

He came to international prominence over in incident in an airport bathroom which led to him being arrested for cruising. The Senator from Idaho is married with three children and denies he is gay.

He has already announced he will not be seeking re-election in November.

He was arrested on June 11th 2007 by an undercover police officer in a Minneapolis airport toilet.