Few things are bluer than Colorado’s sky. But today, the blueness of the five statewide office holders who were inaugurated in front of the state Capitol was even more striking. Democratic Secretary of State Jena Griswold, Democratic Treasurer Dave Young, Democratic Attorney General Phil Weiser, Democratic Lieutenant Gov. Dianne Primavera and Democratic Gov. Jared Polis swore into office after a blue sweep not only of the seats they now hold, but also of both chambers of the state legislature. As of noon today, Democrats are in total control of a state that long had considered itself purple. But blue wasn’t the only noteworthy color at the inauguration. The lineup of clergy members, poets, and elected officials who took the podium represented a broad array of ethnicities, religions and communities. The presence of all of Colorado’s living former governors from both parties – Democrat Dick Lamm, Democrat Roy Romer, Republican Bill Owens, Democrat Bill Ritter, and Democrat John Hickenlooper – symbolized, as Polis noted, the state’s peaceful transition of power (even if the deafening sound of a cannon fired 21 times during the ceremony hardly seemed peaceful). And the rainbow spectrum of colors designed into the blue stage clearly expressed what made the day historic: That Polis is the first openly gay man in the nation to be elected to a governorship. The sight of him, partner Marlon Reis, and their daughter and son becoming Colorado’s first family breaks down barriers in a state that 26 years ago approved a ballot measure banning state and local laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Amendment 2 was overturned four years later, in 1996, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional. – Susan Greene
The Colorado Independent,2020
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