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Ahead of the 2012 election, the Seattle Times has apparently restarted its "Truth Needle" series, in which it allegedly fact-checks political ads and claims. And in its first installment, it declares as totally "false" an assertion by state Dems that Republican gubernatorial wannabe Rob McKenna has equated gay marriage with polygamy and incest.

Okay. So here's what Washington State Democratic Party chair Dwight Pelz wrote in an email:

"Rob McKenna believes that same-sex couples don't deserve equal rights. In fact, he has fought to preserve discrimination in state law and has even gone so far as to equate marriage equality to polygamy and incest."

And here's what the Seattle Times itself reported McKenna saying back in 2004:

King County Councilman Rob McKenna, criticized the ruling's wording as too broad and said its argument that there is no compelling state interest to deny marriage to two people in a committed relationship could leave marriage open to blood relatives or those practicing polygamy.

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"It threatens to destroy all standards we apply to the right of marriage," he said.

McKenna now says that his comments were meant to apply narrowly to the specific language of a since-overturned King County Superior Court ruling that same-sex couples could marry—a legalistic prevarication the Seattle Times dutifully swallows in accusing Pelz of taking McKenna out of context. But... whenever you mention words like "incest" and "polygamy" in the same context as gay marriage... well, that's a dog whistle that will be heard loud and clear by gay-bashers and other right-wingers. And McKenna is deft enough a politician to know it.

So, we rate the Dems' claim as "Mostly True," while we rate the Seattle Times' own fatuous attempt at fact-checking to be a transparent piece of partisan hackery.

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