Polis Becomes First Gay Governor, Twitter Screams

Polis Becomes First Gay Governor, Twitter Screams

Jared Polis and his life partner Marlon Reis are giving Camelot a run for its money.

Jared Polis and his life partner Marlon Reis are giving Camelot a run for its money.

Text: SAMUEL ANDERSON

When Jared Polis was declared the governor elect of Colorado yesterday, it not only made capital-H history, it also made Political Spouse History (a subject I wish they’d offered in college). Running on a platform of expanding programs for families, total renewable energy and stricter gun control laws, Polis became the first openly gay governor in our nation’s history, making his longterm partner Marlon Reis the first gay gubernatorial spouse since our nation’s birth. Quickly, Reis’s mentions IRL and on Twitter spiked; in his acceptance speech, Polis thanked him off the bat: "I want to thank my personal support network... My amazing partner, and the first 'first man' in the history of Colorado, Marlon Reis," Polis said to rounds of cheers.    

A quick background check reveals that, though he may look young, Reis is 38 and has been with Polis for about 14 years. In that time, he and Polis have broken multiple historical barriers. In 2009, when Polis became the first out gay man elected to a first term, Reis was the first same-sex partner of a member of Congress to be recognized as “spouse” on his congressional ID card. Still, the couple faced obstacles on Capitol Hill: “Almost immediately, I was mistaken for a staff aide; then again, for a son designated to attend in place of a spouse. More times than I care to remember, I was told, 'But you’re so young!'" wrote Reis in CNN in 2009.

Jared Polis with partner Marlon Reis and two children Caspian Julius and Cora Barucha (Screenshot via Facebook)

A writer and animal rights activist by trade, Reis has apparently influenced his partner’s platform. While Reis is a vegan and Polis is not (according to PETA), Polis’s 2018 campaign listed “animal welfare” in its talking points. But Reis’s speciality isn’t in politics: his passions include Romantic literature, poetry and Halloween, according to Colorado local news.

Marlon Reis, partner of Jared Polis

Polis, who made millions as the founder of the California-based florist company ProFlowers, has some quirks of his own. He supports adopting blockchain currency, and has expressed interest in environmental regulations related to kombucha. But ultimately, he and Reis are a pure reflection of the new normal. As fathers to two children, they reportedly like to play video games, read, and collect stamps. So when it comes to the Colorado governor, whether you’re a member of the first family or the electorate, you can call him “Daddy.”      

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