Colorado Gov. Jared Polis Makes History By Marrying Marlon Reis

September 20, 2021

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has made history once again. 

The Democratic state leader married Marlon Reis, a writer and animal welfare advocate, on Wednesday at the University of Colorado campus in Boulder. The small Jewish ceremony was held outdoors and was officiated by Rabbi Tirzah Firestone. 

“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,” the two men said in a statement on social media. “After 18 years together, we couldn’t be happier to be married at last.”

The wedding marks the first same-sex marriage of a sitting U.S. governor. 

Polis, 46, previously made history in 2018, when he became the first openly gay man to be elected governor of a U.S. state. He is also Colorado’s first Jewish governor. 

He and Reis have two children: son Caspian Julius, 9, and daughter Cora, 7. The pair got engaged in December as Reis was preparing to depart for the hospital after testing positive for COVID-19. 

In an interview with NPR published Wednesday, Reis said he and Polis emphasized the emotional significance of their marriage above any historic value. 

“Over the course of Jared’s career in Congress, you know, we didn’t set out to be the first of anything,” the first gentleman said. “Things sort of happened that way.”

“As I was growing up, marriage was not even in the realm of possibility,” he continued. “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.”

Wednesday’s wedding took place on the 18th anniversary of their first date. 

“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 quipped to NPR, referencing the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling that legalized marriage equality nationwide.  

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