News: Jared Polis Becomes First Openly Gay Governor
The recently concluded midterm elections in the United States delivered many historic first, with one of them Jared Polis winning the gubernatorial race in Colorado. With the win, Polis now becomes the first openly gay man to serve as a governor in the United States.
With his win, he now joins Oregon’s Kate Brown as one of two openly gay people elected governor of a U.S. state. Brown also emerged victorious on election day, defeating her Republican challenger and winning another term.
Polis never sought to hide his sexual orientation, starting from his time in the U.S. Congress from 2009. During his time as a Congressman, Polis pushed for a repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. He also cosponsored the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
Polis’ win is even more astounding considering that Colorado was once dubbed an anti-LGBTQ “hate state.” The state gained the moniker after it passed Amendment 2, which sought to ban legal protections for gays and lesbians.
Colorado is also the state where a more recent battle over gay rights was fought. The Masterpiece Cakeshop, is located in Colorado, and the case against it that reached all the way to the Supreme Court and drew national attention.
In remarks given to The Denver Post, Victory Fund president and CEO Mary Parker called Polis’ victory a “historic win.”
“The fact that the state of Colorado, in 25 years, has gone from being dubbed the ‘Hate State’ to a place that can elect someone who is not just openly gay, but publicly gay, that’s historic,” she said.
Parker also credited Polis’ team for making sure that his sexual orientation was a non-issue.
“It’s the culmination of a lot of work of activists to win the hearts and minds of voters to make sure that when Jared entered the race, he wasn’t judged as a gay man, but as a public servant,” she said.