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Colorado's Jared Polis becomes America's first openly gay governor to get married while in office

The couple had been together for 18 years and got married on the anniversary of their first date in a traditional Jewish ceremony.

Colorado's Jared Polis becomes America's first openly gay governor to get married while in office
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: Congressman Jared Schutz Polis, D-CO-02, son Caspian Julian, and partner Marlon Reis attend 2013, Green Inaugural Ball at NEWSEUM on January 20, 2013, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)

Colorado Democratic governor Jared Polis wed his longtime partner of 18 years, marking the first-ever same-sex marriage by an American governor. Polis married Marlon Reis in a traditional Jewish ceremony at the University of Colorado in Boulder on Wednesday. Jared Polis is also the first openly gay man ever to be elected governor in America when he took office in 2018. He was also the first openly gay man elected to the U.S. House a decade ago, reported NPR. Reis, Polis' husband, said, "Over the course of Jared's career in Congress, you know, we didn't set out to be the first of anything. Things sort of happened that way." Same-sex marriage was never a possibility for couples in Colorado until 2014. The following year, the U.S Supreme Court made gay marriage legal across the country. 

Colorado governor Jared Polis


"The greatest lesson we have learned over the past 18 months is that life as we know it can change in an instant. After 18 years together, we couldn't be happier to be married at last," tweeted Polis after getting married. Reis, a writer and animal rights advocate. Reis reflected on the journey of the movement and the possibility of gay marriage through their personal experience. "As I was growing up, marriage was not even in the realm of possibility," said Reis, reported CPR. "And in fact, the reality was that there was a lot of misinformation out there about what could potentially happen if you came out — what opportunities would you lose, how it would negatively impact you. So for a long time, the idea of getting married, we didn't talk about it."


With both of them being in their 40s, they have lived through a lot of stigmas and stereotypes while growing up. "When people thought of gay people, they thought of AIDS, unfortunately," said Reis. "That was, I think, in both of our cases our parents' first fears, they were like, 'Oh, I hope you don't get AIDS. Be careful.' That's the main thing you knew about gay people in the '80s and '90s." It took them 18 years to get here and a wedding day encapsulated the journey. "People could say we took 18 years to get around to it, or you could say we took six years to get around to it," said Polis, referring to the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. "But it was great to celebrate our love for one another with our family."

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 12: Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) joins veterans, service members and aspiring recruits to call on Congress and President Barack Obama to move forward with immigration reform at the U.S. Capitol November 12, 2014 in Washington, DC. The news conference participants called on Obama to 'go bold and go big' and to use his executive authority to reform immigration if Congress could not get the job done. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)


The couple got married on the 18th anniversary of their first date. The couple selected CU-Boulder as the venue as thats' where Reis graduated from college. "We met online and went out on a date and we went to the Boulder bookstore and then went to dinner," said Polis. The couple has two children and their 7-year-old daughter served as the flower girl while their 9-year-old son was the ring bearer. Polis said it was his daughter who was most excited about the wedding. "She was all in on being a flower girl. She's been prancing around. She got a great dress. She's terrific." Polis added that kids are challenging age-old traditions and questioning their logic. "Our son honestly asked us, 'Why do people get married?'" said Polis, before explaining that married couples had legal rights and that it's an "expression of the caring that you feel for one another."

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