Watch: Colo. Gov. Jared Polis Proposed to Longtime Partner During a COVID Crisis Moment

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Friday March 5, 2021
Originally published on March 5, 2021

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis timed his run for that state's gubernatorial post perfectly, becoming the first out gay man to be elected governor. His choice of when to propose was equally... unique.

Indeed, as Polis' fiancee Marlon Reis revealed in an interview with the Colorado Sun, it was last Dec. 6, while Reis was gasping for air and preparing to go to the hospital to be treated for COVID-19, that Polis dropped to one knee and asked Reis to marry him.

"I said to him, 'I couldn't breathe before. Now I really can't breathe,'" quipped Reis.

The couple have tow children, who were quick to weigh in; their daughter, 6, thrilled at the idea of being a flower girl at the wedding, while their son, 9, critiqued the engagement ring that Polis presented to Reis.

"The ring is made of tungsten and is inscribed with a passage from Isaiah 11:6," noted the Sun.

"Very plain, perfectly in keeping with both our personalities," Reis said.

Though the moment itself may have been unusual, the preparations had been long in the making, the Sun reported, with Polis having planned to proposed for seven months. The couple have been together for 17 years.

The proposal had a salubrious effect on him despite his suffering from COVID-19, Reis said.

"It put such a spring in my step," Reis recounted to the Sun. "When I got to the hospital I wasn't scared anymore. I said 'I have a great relationship, a great family that I'm going to be coming home to after this.' "

The proposal's timing also underscored for Reis the importance of celebrating love and life.

"Let's not wait. Let's live life while we have it to live," Reis told the Sun. "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."

Political news site The Hill recalled that Polis is "a former representative for Colorado's 2nd Congressional District," and that he was "was elected governor in 2018." Though he was the first out gay man to be elected governor in the nation's history, The Hill noted, "Former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevy (D) came out as gay while in office in 2004, and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) is openly bisexual."

Reis was discharged from the hospital after two days, The Hill said. Polis also had COVID-19, but suffered only "mild symptoms."

"The couple hasn't set a wedding date yet," The Hill added.

To watch a video clip on the story, follow this link.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.