Metro Weekly

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis engaged to longtime partner Marlon Reis

Polis, the nation's first openly gay governor, proposed after the couple contracted COVID-19

Jared Polis and Marlon Reis, gay, governor, colorado
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and First Gentleman Marlon Reis at Denver Pride in 2018 – Photo @jaredpolis / Instagram

Governor of Colorado Jared Polis is engaged to his partner of 17 years, Marlon Reis, the couple have announced.

Polis, 45, popped the question on Dec. 6, but the couple opted to keep the engagement a secret, Reis, 39, told The Colorado Sun.

He noted that Polis, the first openly gay person and second openly LGBTQ person to be elected governor of a U.S. state, chose an unorthodox time to ask Reis to be his husband: Reis was getting ready to go to hospital after testing positive for COVID-19 and experiencing a downturn in his condition.

“I was getting my things ready. My daughter was crying in the corner — she didn’t want me to go,” he said. “My son was asking me a lot of technical questions: ‘When are you coming back? Do they know exactly what’s wrong?’ It was a very tense moment.”

Polis was urging Reis to speed up his packing — “That irked me even more,” Reis said — when the governor suddenly dropped to one knee and proposed.

“It was the absolute perfect time,” Reis said. “I said to him, ‘I couldn’t breathe before. Now I really can’t breathe.’”

While the couple’s 6-year-old daughter stopped crying and became excited about the wedding, their 9-year-old son responded by telling them, “I really don’t like your engagement ring.”

Reis, who spent two days in hospital, said the proposal “put such a spring in my step.”

“When I got to the hospital I wasn’t scared anymore,” he continued. I said ‘I have a great relationship, a great family that I’m going to be coming home to after this.’”

Reis said the couple have yet to set a date for the ceremony, but the Sun noted their children are “lobbying them” to start planning.

While Reis was hospitalized after contracting the coronavirus, Polis experienced only mild symptoms after he tested positive for COVID-19.

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's online editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.

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