Colorado's Polis marries longtime partner in first same-sex marriage for a sitting governor

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, the first openly gay man elected governor in the United States, has married his longtime partner in the first same-sex marriage for a sitting governor.

Polis and Marlon Reis, who have been together for 18 years and were engaged in December, wed in a small traditional Jewish ceremony Wednesday, the governor’s office said.

“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 health and well-being of our family and friends, and the opportunity to celebrate our life together as a married couple,” they said in a joint statement.

Polis, a Democrat, was elected governor in November 2018 and sworn in the following January. He previously served as a U.S. representative.

The couple was engaged in this winter before Reis was admitted to a hospital with Covid-19, NBC affiliate KUSA of Denver reported. Polis was also diagnosed with the disease but did not suffer severe symptoms. They are parents of two children, ages 7 and 9.

“We are both excited for this new chapter in our lives together, and our hearts are full with the blessings of health, love, and family,” Polis said in a Facebook post.

Polis is the first gay man elected governor in the country, but Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat who identifies as bisexual, was the first openly LGBT person to be elected governor in 2016.

Wednesday’s ceremony marked the first same-sex marriage of a sitting governor. Former Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., was the first sitting member of Congress to marry someone of the same sex in 2012.

“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,” Reis told Colorado Public Radio.