Colorado Governor Jared Polis married his longtime partner Marlon Reis in a small traditional Jewish ceremony which served as the first same-sex marriage for a sitting governor.
Gov. Polis became the first openly gay man elected governor and the state’s first Jewish governor when he was sworn into office in January 2019.
‘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,’ First Gentleman Reis told CPR News.
Polis, 46, and Reis, 40, have been together for 18 years and have two children, ages 7 and 9.
Colorado Governor Jared Polis (left) married his longtime partner Marlon Reis (right) on Wednesday, September 15
The small Jewish ceremony was the first time a sitting governor has had a same-sex wedding (Pictured: Polis (left) and Reis (right) on their wedding day)
Polis (right) became the first openly gay man elected governor and the state’s first Jewish governor when he was sworn in as Colorado’s governor on January 2019
The Governor (right) and First Gentleman (left) were married on the 18th anniversary of their first date
The couple was engaged in December and married in Boulder on Wednesday celebrated by a small circle of friends and family. All guests were required to get a negative COVID test before the ceremony.
Polis proposed to Reis while both of them were suffering from COVID, with Reis’ symptoms worsening.
‘I’ve been thinking about it for a while,’ the governor told CPR. ‘I’d ordered the rings, with an inscription from Isaiah, and had them hidden and ready to go. And he was going off to the hospital with COVID. I mean, I knew he’d probably get better, but obviously, you never know. I thought now’s a good time to give (their children) something to remember here as we leave the house to take him to the hospital.’
They were married on the 18th anniversary of their first date when they went to the Boulder Bookstore before going to dinner. The nuptials were held at Colorado University- Boulder, the school Reis was attending when the couple began dating.
In a joint statement following the celebration, Polis and Reis 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 wellbeing of our family and friends, and the opportunity to celebrate our life together as a married couple.
‘After eighteen years, we couldn’t be happier to be married at last.’
The outdoor ceremony was officiated by Rabbi Tirzah Firestone. Every detail was meticulously planned including vegan locally sourced meals, flowers grown in-state, wine from Colorado wineries, and tables named after Colorado animals – the First Gentleman is an animal rights activist.
The couple’s daughter walked down the aisle as the flower girl and their son as the ring bearer.
Polis (right) and Reis (left) are the parents of 7-year-old girl (pictured) and a 9-year-old boy (pictured) who walked in the wedding ceremony
Commenting on the historic occasion Reis said, ‘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’
Same-sex marriage was prohibited in Colorado until October 2014 and the United States until June 2015
Polis proposed to Reis in December before he took him to the hospital. Both of the men were diagnosed with COVID
Polis posted several photos from the special day. The governor announced the news with a famous quote from The Princess Bride, ‘Mawage. Mawage is what brings us together today.’
He wrote: ‘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.’
Reis also shared the news on social media making sure to thank everyone involved in their historic ceremony. He ended the post thanking, ‘our dear Family and Friends, who have been by our side through thick and thin, and who we love more dearly than can ever be expressed in words.’
‘We just thought we would have a small gathering: family, a few close friends, just keep it very intimate, but still have something that was meaningful to us and our nuclear families,’ Polis told CPR News.
Same-sex marriage was prohibited in Colorado until October 2014. The US legalized same-sex marriage the next year following the US Supreme Court’s landmark decision.
‘It was just kind of a moment of pure euphoria where the system worked,’ Reis remembered.
Ahead of the nuptials, Reis stated that marriage wasn’t always something that he and Polis thought of as a option.
‘As I was growing up, marriage was not even in the realm of possibility,’ Reis told CPR News. ‘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.’
‘But it was great to celebrate our love for one another with our family.’