Democrat Jared Polis’ inauguration Tuesday as the first openly gay U.S. governor firmly moved Colorado to a darker shade of blue — and other celebratory colors of the LGBTQ community — as he vowed to expand health care, pursue publicly funded preschool and protect the environment.

Polis, 43, emphasized his inaugural theme, “Colorado for All,” to mark the historic occasion. He took the oath of office accompanied by his longtime partner and “first gentleman,” Marlon Reis. Their children, Caspian and Cora, also attended.

“I must begin by saying I am very conscious of the fact that there were many brave people over the years who made it possible for someone like me to be standing here giving a speech like this,” Polis said.

This is amazing that a gay man was being sworn in as governor 25 years after Colorado was dubbed the “hate state” when voters passed a measure to ban anti-discrimination laws that protect gay people. The amendment was later overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Polis’ inauguration marked a special day for LGBTQ advocates nationwide. The planned festivities included an evening “Blue Sneaker Ball,” named after the footwear Polis sported during his campaign. Pop singer and LGBTQ activist Cyndi Lauper and the R&B combo Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats were set to perform.

The new governor has vowed to pursue a public health insurance option and to reduce insurance and prescription costs. He’s called for universal health care, suggesting Colorado could partner with neighboring states to create a regional market.

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