Colorado Gov. Jared Polis was the first openly homosexual man elected governor of Colorado.
Polis, a Democrat said that the attack on Club Q was “terrible, sickening, devastating” in a statement. My heart breaks for the loved ones of those who were injured or lost in this terrible shooting.
Polis, in an apparent reference to the shooting, posted a heartbreak emoticon in a later Sunday post to his Twitter account.
According to his office, Polis was positive for Covid but was not symptomatic and was working from home.
Although Colorado was once known for being “the hate state”, after 1992’s ballot proposition banned anti-discrimination ordinances from being placed on the ballot, it has made significant progress in LGBTQ rights. In 2014, the state officially recognized same-sex married in Colorado. This was a year before the Supreme Court decided to legalize same-sex marriage across the country. Polis signed two laws in 2019 that would ban conversion therapy. This is a method that attempts to alter minors’ sexual orientations or gender identities. Another law would allow transgender people to easily update their gender on birth certificates and other documents.
Polis was elected to a second term earlier this month. He was part of the 2018 so-called “rainbow wave” — which refers to the record-breaking number of LGBTQ candidates running for office during the year’s midterm elections. After Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat from Oregon who identifies herself as bisexual, was elected to the office in 2016 in a special election.
His sexuality was not a major factor in Polis’s first run for governor. He has stated in past interviews that he believes Colorado voters are more concerned about kitchen-table issues.
Although his campaign was primarily focused on expanding Colorado’s economy and delivering more government services, he has become a vocal critic of the recent rise in attacks on the LGBTQ community.
Polis stated in an email statement that he signed the 2019 bills, “Today Colorado made an important step forward in recognizing our diversity as an asset.” These bills emphasize the idea that Colorado is a place where everyone can be themselves and live the life they desire.
Polis has also been critical of anti-LGBTQ laws in the Republican-led States, which include bills that prohibit classroom discussions about sexual orientation or gender identity.
“Look, words matter. Laws matter. In an interview, Polis stated that LGBTQ youth feel targeted by the laws and words of politicians.
For five terms, Polis represented Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District. In 2008, he was elected to his first office. He became “the first openly homosexual parent to win a seat in Congress.” Polis married his longtime partner last year. This was the first such-sex marriage by a sitting governor. In 2012, former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) was the first sitting member to marry someone of the same sex.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Polis had a successful tech startup career before he became a politician. He amassed nearly $400 million in wealth before his political career. Polis answered a question about his position as the wealthiest member of Congress, saying, “I’m not beholden to anyone except voters.”
Polis was a founder and seller of several startups, including ProFlowers. Polis was a founder of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus. This bipartisan group allows “industry, government, and others to work together to understand and study the implications of blockchain technology.”
Polis was also a six-year member of the State Board of Education. He pushed for efforts to increase teacher pay and decrease class sizes. He also founded several charter schools for at-risk students and was the superintendent of one.
Polis was born in Boulder, Colorado in 1975. He grew up in California. He is the father of two children. Blue Mountain Arts, a greeting card and publisher company were founded by his parents.
Polis received a bachelor’s in politics from Princeton University. He is Colorado’s first openly homosexual governor.