Updated 3:00 p.m.
Gov. Jared Polis is now engaged to his longtime partner of 17 years, Marlon Reis.
Polis proposed during a tumultuous time in December for his own family. Polis and Reis both contracted COVID-19. While the governor said he lost his taste and smell and felt a bit under the weather, Reis’ case was more severe. He ran a fever and stayed in bed for a few days.
"I've been thinking about it for a while," the governor said in an interview with CPR News. "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 them something to remember here as we leave the house to take him to the hospital."
The couple have two children, a 6-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son.
"I did tell the kids a little bit beforehand. I knew they probably couldn't keep a secret," Polis said, adding, "You never go to the hospital with an upbeat spirit, but [Marlon] probably had an extra, extra beat in his step as he walked into the hospital."
Reis, who keeps a relatively low profile, is already known as the first gentleman of Colorado. Polis is the first openly gay man elected as governor in the country.
The couple plans to marry in the fall.