Colorado Gov. Jared PolisJared Schutz PolisColorado legislature approves measure to ban styrofoam, add fee to single use products Colorado to offer ,000 scholarships for young people to get vaccinated Supreme Court justice denies Colorado churches' challenge to lockdown authority MORE (D), the first openly gay man sworn in as a governor, is engaged to his longtime partner, Marlon Reis.

Reis, the state’s first gentleman, revealed on Wednesday in an exclusive interview with The Colorado Sun how Polis popped the question after 17 years together and two kids. 

On Dec. 6, the 39-year-old had coronavirus and was experiencing “shortness of breath and a worsening cough." His doctor told him to go to the hospital after his oxygen saturation levels dropped.


“I was getting my things ready. My daughter was crying in the corner — she didn’t want me to go,” Reis told the outlet. “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.”

Reis said he was “irked” about how Polis was urging him to hurry up, while simultaneously telling him he would be OK. However, the governor suddenly dropped to his knee.

“It was the absolute perfect time,” Reis said. “I said to him, ‘I couldn’t breathe before. Now I really can’t breathe.’”

The couple’s 6-year-old daughter was elated about becoming their flower girl. Reis told the Sun that “in his typical fashion,” their 9-year-old son said, “I really don’t like your engagement ring.” 

The ring is made of tungsten and is inscribed with a Bible passage from Isaiah 11:6, according to the outlet.

Reis was released from the hospital after two days, saying the proposal “put such a spring in my step.” Polis also caught the virus but experienced mild symptoms.  


Reis, an animal rights advocate, said that Polis had been preparing for the big moment for seven months. The pandemic has made everyone realize that things we often take for granted “can still be taken away from us, sometimes without any notice," Reis said. 

“Let’s not wait. Let’s live life while we have it to live,” he said. “Let’s celebrate and look out for each other and keep caring about the things that we care about. Even though we’re dealing with these circumstances, we can’t give up on our dreams.”

The couple hasn’t set a wedding date yet.

Polis, a former representative for Colorado's 2nd Congressional District, was elected governor in 2018.

He is the first openly gay man to be sworn in as governor, but is not the first openly gay governor. Former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevy (D) came out as gay while in office in 2004, and Oregon Gov. Kate BrownKate BrownMcAuliffe looms large as Virginia Democrats pick governor nominee Oregon governor signs bill banning guns at Capitol, requiring safe storage at home New York offers 50 college scholarships in push to vaccinate teenagers MORE (D) is openly bisexual.