A Republican candidate for Governor of Colorado has made a bizarre conspiracy claim: current Gov. Jared Polis–the first openly-gay man elected to a governorship in the United States–isn’t actually gay.
The Colorado Times-Reporter reports that Danielle Neuschwanger, who hopes to succeed Polis next year, further alleged that Polis currently lives in a “sham” marriage opposite his husband Marlon Reis. The two wed this year in a ceremony attended by Joe Biden, and have two children together.
Despite the obvious signs, Neuschwanger alleges that Polis’ marriage is part of an elaborate hoax. She made the claim during a campaign rally in the Colorado city of Cañon City on Monday night (December 10) as part of a much larger litany of conspiracy allegations.
“You guys want to know something crazy about Polis? He’s not even gay,” Neuschwanger charged. “I didn’t know any of this until, like, we got involved in politics. So, his real name is Jared Schutz, and he was married to a woman, who he used to abuse the heck out of.”
For the record, Polis has never been married to a woman under any name.
“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,” Neuschwanger continued. [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. ”
“So they figured out the way to get the gays in Colorado was to have someone run for governor who is gay,” she went on. “So, right before this happened, they told Jared Polis he had to get divorced. But then he sexually assaulted a female colleague, hence, the name change to Jared Polis.”
“Well, everyone said, when he was running for governor, no one knew he was gay,” Neuschwanger further charged. “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? No one sees Marlon very often. So, his mailman is a gay. 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 gay0 When we heard this, I was like, ‘You’re kidding me.’”
Neuschwanger went on to claim that Polis is related to California Gov. Gavin Newsom and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and that he was secretly born in California.
A simple Google search exposes Neuschwanger’s remarks as utterly false: Jared Polis was born in Boulder, Colorado, is not related to Gavin Newsom or Nancy Pelosi, and was living as an openly gay man for decades before his run for governor. He became one of a handful of openly gay Americans elected to the U.S. House of Representatives when he won his congressional seat in 2008, and became the first openly gay parent in Congress in 2011.
Subsequent to her remarks, a number of news outlets criticized Neuschwanger for her false allegations. Nevertheless, in a statement, the Republican stood by her remarks.
“I stand by this statement in its entirety,” she told The Colorado Times-Reporter. “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.”
“Now as rumors go, we all know they stem from a kernel of the truth and the correlation to the Rocky Mountain Heist Documentary [a widely-debunked right-wing conspiracy film], relations to Newsom, and Soros can easily be proven…I think like many Coloradoans were taken off guard with [Polis’] personal sexual orientation last go around, there are many questions that voters want answered and many conspiracy theories that we would like squashed. I’m open to having a discussion about what his story really is and setting the record straight, even if I’m wrong.”
Spoiler alert: you’re wrong, girl.
In addition to her wild claims about Polis, Neuschwanger, who works as a realtor, claimed that Donald Trump won Colorado in the 2020 Election, and that Joe Biden stole the state with the help of Dominion Voting Systems, as well as China and Russia. Gov. Jared Polis, perhaps so as not to lower his own dignity, has not responded to Neuschwanger’s claims.
You can hear the full audio of Neuschwanger’s loony remarks below.