In my post about Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna's gubernatorial announcement speech last night at Sammamish High School in Bellevue, I reported that McKenna tried to strike a bipartisan note while his audience seemed more excited when he tossed out GOP red meat about cutting big government or mentioned his lawsuit against President Obama's health care reform legislation---the biggest applause line of the night.

Given that it was such a partisan crowd, I have to wonder what they thought of the sign that greeted everyone as they came into the building, pretty much the only sign in sight.



I called the school this morning to ask who put up this sign. Was it a student gay rights group?

Was it intentionally posted to greet McKenna as a show of support for his work on R-71 (he successfully argued in the U.S. Supreme Court that the names of anti-gay rights activists who signed the petition to put the state's domestic partnership up for a vote should be public )? For the record: McKenna's position wasn't  pro-domestic partnerships; he was defending the state's open records law.

Or was it a dig at the Republican Party, which is famously against gay marriage and gay rights?

Or was it just a coincidence?

The school does have a Gay Straight Alliance club, and the teacher who sponsors school clubs is checking for me to find out why the sign was posted and what it means.

Josh Friedes at gay rights group Equal Rights Washington calls McKenna's past statements on gay rights "atrocious" and says Gov. Chris Gregoire has set a high standard on gay rights issues by signing so many pro-gay rights laws. The next step for any governor, is to sign gay marriage into law, Friedes says.

The PI.com's LGBT blog has a roundup of McKenna's "atrocious" statements, including a 2004 statement in response to the then-pending gay marriage case in Washington State, saying that he supported the Defense of Marriage Act against gay marriage, comparing it to polygamy.

And they quote McKenna directly, saying: "It threatens to destroy all standards we apply to the right of marriage."

We have a call in to McKenna's campaign.
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