Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) has become the first sitting U.S. governor to marry their same-sex partner.
Polis married his husband, Marlon Reis, in a small ceremony on Sept. 15, the 18th anniversary of their first date.
“The greatest lesson we have learned over the past 18 months is that life as we know it can change in an instant,” Polis wrote in a tweet announcing their wedding.
“We are thankful for the opportunity to celebrate our life together as a married couple,” he said. “After 18 years together, we couldn’t be happier to be married at last.”
The greatest lesson we have learned over the past 18 months is that life as we know it can change in an instant. We are thankful for the opportunity to celebrate our life together as a married couple.
After 18 years together, we couldn't be happier to be married at last. pic.twitter.com/psBhfEoEny
— Governor Jared Polis (@GovofCO) September 15, 2021
Speaking to NPR after their wedding, Reis said that he and his husband “didn’t set out to be the first of anything. Things sort of happened that way.”
“As I was growing up, marriage was not even in the realm of possibility,” Reis said. “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.”
Polis noted the length of time the couple had been together, but tied it into the Supreme Court’s 2016 Obergefell ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.
“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,” Polis told NPR. “But it was great to celebrate our love for one another with our family.”
Polis, 45, and Reis, 39, announced their engagement in March, after initially opting to keep it secret.
The governor proposed in December last year and 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,” Reis told the Colorado Sun. “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 urged 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.’”
These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!