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GOP Candidate Claims Colorado Gov. Is Actually Pretending To Be Gay With 'Sham' Marriage

AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Republican candidate for Colorado governor Danielle Neuschwanger made headlines this week after making baseless claims about Democratic Governor Jared Polis' sexuality.

According to Colorado Times Recorder, Neuschwanger made a number of false accusations targeting Polis during a meet and greet in Cañon City on Monday night.

An attendee made an audio recording of Neuschwanger's monologue in which she was heard falsely claiming Polis was "not gay” and his marriage to Marlon Reis was “a sham” in order to get the gay votes for him to win as Governor.

Neuschwanger told the attendees:

“You guys want to know something crazy about Polis?"
"He’s not even gay."
"I didn’t know any of this until, like, we got involved in politics."


She continued:
"So, his real name is Jared Schutz, and he was married to a woman, who he used to abuse the heck out of.”
“So he was starting to get involved in politics in the early 2000s, you know, running for Congress and the Department of Health and Education. … [Four Democratic strategists/donors, which include Polis] all got together, pooled their money, and said they could flip Colorado from red to blue."
"In order to do that, though, they had to reach out to specific groups, like the gays. Well, Tom [sic] Gill was already a well known gay activist, and so they figured out the way to get the gays in Colorado was to have someone run for governor who is gay."
"So, right before this happened, they told Jared Polis he had to get divorced."

Neuschwanger said Polis pretended to be gay and changed his surname from Schutz to Polis after sexually assaulting a female colleague.

However, there is no record of Polis abusing a former colleague or ever even having a wife.

While his name was Schutz when he was younger, the reason for the name change had nothing to do with him allegedly covering up a former life as a "straight" man to curry favor from the gays.

At 25, Polis changed his last name to his mother’s family name and kept his father's surname as his middle name.

Neuschwanger continued:

“Well, everyone said, when he was running for governor, no one knew he was gay. But all of a sudden, right before he won, he came out as the first Jewish gay guy in Colorado."
"He’s not actually gay!"
"So then, they bring in Marlon — and, you know, have you ever seen him and Marlon have public displays of affection, hold hands, kiss, hug?"

After parroting to a person in the audience, she added:

"No one sees Marlon very often."

Then the Republican gubernatorial candidates false claims got almost incoherent.

Neuschwanger remarked:

"So, his mailman is a gay."

Without providing context or relevance for her mailman revelation, the GOP candidate hinted her information came from a disgruntled member of Polis' security team.

"And his state trooper/head of security is not a fan of Jared Polis."
"So they sneak prostitutes in and out of his apartment in Boulder all the time, and they have swingers’ parties and all kinds of things."
"He’s not gay!"
"When we heard this, I was like, ‘You’re kidding me!’

Neuschwanger didn't provide proof or sources for her wild accusations.

LGBTQ Nation looked into Neuschwanger's allegations leveled at Polis and found her story didn't "square with even the most basic facts available... or the memories of LGBTQ+ journalists who have been covering out elected officials for decades."

According to the media outlet, people were well aware of who his husband Marlon Reis was when Polis was in Congress. The two met in 2002, well before Polis was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2008.

Polis was the first openly gay man elected to Congress and the second openly LGBTQ+ person after then-Democratic Representative Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin was elected in 1998.

In December, Polis and Reis both got sick from COVID-19. When Reis was admitted to the hospital as his condition worsened, Polis proposed, making him the first U.S. governor to be engaged to a same-sex partner.

The two married in 2021. Polis and Reis have a son and a daughter–born in 2011 and 2014–respectively.

In response to the audio speech having leaked to the press, Neuschwanger said she stood by her "statement in its entirety."

“As I mentioned I have never been in politics and didn’t know any of this information, never even thought to ever ask these types of questions until I started campaigning," she said.

"The truth is that we have been told this numerous times across the state from people who are on both party fences and know Polis personally.”
“Now I am probably the black sheep of the Republican Party because I do openly support the LGBTQ community but this has been a hot topic for me."
"Therefore if this was all a scheme to get elected, well he has some explaining to do and he should be held accountable for those falsehoods.”

The Colorado Times Recorder said Neuschwanger works as a realtor at a company she founded and has a professional background in criminal justice as well as experience in emergency management.

When an attendee at the Cañon City meet and greet asked Neuschwanger who won the 2020 presidential election, the Republican candidate said "Donald Trump prevailed" and "secretaries of state from some states, Dominion Voting Systems, as well as China and Russia had roles in hacking the results, and contributed to stealing the election for President Joe Biden."