September 16, 2020
History was made in America on 7th November as Colorado Congressman, Jared Polis became the first openly gay man to be elected Governor of a US state. Polis has been a part of the House of Representatives since 2009 and a five-term member of the Congress. The politician has never hidden his sexual orientation from anyone. Moreover, he has dedicated his life to expanding opportunity for Colorado families.
The Democrat beat his competitor, Colorado Treasurer and Republican Walker Stapleton. Previously, New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey, a Democrat, came out as gay while in office in 2004. Moreover, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is also openly bisexual and was elected Governor back in 2016. However, Polis is the first openly gay man to hold this position.
This is a milestone achievement for the state which was once dubbed as the “hate state” by progressives for its anti-LGBT laws. Voters in the state had passed a constitutional law in 1992. This law prevented the creation of protections for the LGBT community. Mary Parker, president and CEO of the Victory Fund, said “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.”
Walker Stapleton did not pay any significant attention to Polis’ sexual orientation during his campaign. However, the Democrat was a victim of some homophobic bumper stickers. Nevertheless, Polis managed to take 51.6% of the votes and emerged victorious. The politician is said to be quite progressive in nature.“I think it really gives Colorado an opportunity to stick a thumb in the eye of Mike Pence, whose view of America is not as inclusive as where America is today,” Polis said during a speech. He vowed to fight for Medicare-for-all and also backed stronger gun laws. Moreover, his campaign also covered issues like renewable energy and expanded broadband access.
Jared Polis also fought for marijuana legalization much before Colorado became one of the first states in the country to legalize pot. He will succeed Democrat John Hickenlooper, who served as Colorado’s Governor since 2011.
By Abhishek Aggarwal