The US State of Colorado has elected the country’s first openly gay Governor.
Amidst the results of the United States Mid Term Elections where a record number of women have been elected, Jared Polis, a Democrat who has served in the House of Representatives since 2009, has been elected as Colorado Governor.
During the campaign, Polis did not attempt to hide his sexual orientation and sometimes used it to emphasize the contrast between himself and President Donald Trump’s administration.
“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 told Colorado Democrats during a speech this year.
Throughout history, there have been other LGBTI Governors.
Former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey, a Democrat, came out as gay while in office in 2004.
And Oregon Governor Kate Brown, also a Democrat, is openly bisexual, which made her the first openly LGBTQ person elected governor when she won in 2016.
But Polis is the first openly gay candidate to be elected for governor.
I his acceptance speech Polis noted the historic nature of his victory.
“I also want to take a moment to acknowledge where we are and how we got here,” Polis said in a speech to supporters.
“Tonight in Colorado we proved that we’re an inclusive state that values every contribution, regardless of someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity.”
“For the LGBTQ pioneers before me who endured so much hardship and hurt to make it possible for so many of us, myself included, to live and to love openly and proudly, and to the people in this room I want to say I am profoundly grateful for all the work we’ve done to overcome.”
His sexual orientation didn’t get any significant attention from his Republican opponent, Colorado Treasurer Walker Stapleton. But some homophobic bumper stickers against Polis did pop up in the state.
He currently serves in Congress, where he has earned a national reputation as a progressive politician.
He, for example, supported marijuana legalization even before Colorado was one of the first states, along with Washington state, to vote to legalize pot.
In other major LGBTQ movements on election night that saw the Democrats take control of the House and Republicans extend their lead in the Senate, Chris Pappas, another Democrat, became the first openly gay congressman from New Hampshire, and Sharice Davids became not only the first LGBTQ congressperson from Kansas, but the first Native American woman to be elected to Congress.