From a story in the Seattle Times during Rossi's first run against Gregoire in 2004:

Though both of his parents were Democrats, Rossi became a Republican in 1980, drawn in by Ronald Reagan's presidential campaign. He joined the Downtown Republican Club, worked hard at recruiting and fund raising, and in 1990 was named the King County "Republican of the Year." Republicans "were really more in tune with the world I wanted into—the business world," Rossi said.

Rossi, a Catholic, also took up some of the party's conservative social causes. In 1991, he campaigned against Initiative 120, a measure that codified in state law the U.S. Supreme Court's decision legalizing abortion. The following year, after moving to the Sammamish Plateau, Rossi dove into his first race for the state Senate seat in the 5th Legislative District. At the time, Christian conservatives were gaining strength in the Republican Party. Facing three pro-choice Republicans in the primary, Rossi ran to the right and won the nomination.... Rossi didn't try to mask his views on social issues. His campaign sent out a flier pointing out "night and day" differences between him and Drew on abortion and gay rights, saying she had "sponsored a gay and lesbian art exhibit in the state capitol."

Today, in his campaign for governor, Rossi goes out of his way to avoid discussing his views on social issues. He still says he is opposed to gay marriage, but is often quick to add, "I'm not running on that issue."

Dino refused to discuss social issues during his 2004 and 2008 gubernatorial campaigns because, he claimed, social issues like gay rights didn't have anything to do with the state. (Which is a lie in the case of gay rights.) But as a Senator—God forbid—Dino faces likely votes on gay marriage and/or civil unions, ending Don't Ask/Don't Tell (if it doesn't happen this year), and passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ditto). We have a right to know how he would've voted on, say, hate-crimes legislation that was approved last year if he had been in the Senate at the time. Adoptions by same-sex couples are an issue that could conceivably come up over the next six years. Does he support adoptions by same-sex couples—along with the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Psychoanalytic Association, the Child Welfare League of America, and the North American Council on Adoptable Children—or does he agree with George Rekers that every child deserves a mother and a father? In this race Dino can't avoid giving specific answers and taking actual positions on gay rights issues.

And, yes, Murray is opposed to same-sex marriage. (Opposes, but doesn't do much about.) But like Obama, Murray supports civil unions for same-sex couples. (Supports, but doesn't do much about.) We know Murray's position. What's Dino's position?

This time out Rossi can't be allowed to get away with simpering about he's a "conservative with a social conscience," smiling prettily, and then refusing to answer questions about gay rights. Or reproductive rights. By his own circa-2008 criteria, he has to answer these questions now.