Mendota Heights Landscaper Faces Backlash from Vote Yes Support

The owner of a Mendota Heights landscaping business has received hate mail for his support of a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Stan Genadek, the owner of Genadek Landscaping and Excavation and a vocal supporter of the proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, has been receiving hate email from opponents of the amendment, CBS Minnesota is reporting.

“They usually read ‘I hope your business fails’ or ‘You’re a close-minded bigot,’” Genadek told CBS. “I’ve received a few that say ‘I hope you die.’”

CBS Minnesota has more on its website:

For the first time, Genadek is wading into the dangerous waters of mixing business and politics. He supports the Minnesota’s Constitutional amendment that recognizes marriage as solely between one man and one woman.

“My stance is the government needs to stay out of the decision,” Genadek said. “I believe gays and lesbians should have all of the same rights, but it shouldn’t be defined by that word in a religious context. If government starts telling religious leaders how to treat gay marriage, what else could they force onto them?”

Genadek labels himself a supporter of gay rights — he’s proud to call a number of gays and lesbians customers. He would support civil unions ’100 percent’ — just nothing with the word marriage attached to it.

Genadek has beat back the backlash, responding to every negative email he receives. It’s an often futile effort to explain his position to his opponents.

“I just wish people would talk to me about it rationally,” Genadek said. “I want to tell people (they) are pigeon-holing me into something that I’m not — I’m not a gay-hater. Just because you back an issue doesn’t mean you back it for the reasons they think you do.”

Donald Lee October 10, 2012 at 11:28 PM
The tone of the comments attacking Mr. Genadek speak volumes about those who oppose this amendment. There is no rational discussion possible with those who seek to ram their views down the throats of their opponents. Respectful, civil debate is always welcome. Calling people "bigots", "haters", and wishing that they die is vicious and has no place in our politics. The marriage amendment does no more than affirm existing state law. We should fear (and condemn) these people who are so willing to cast aside civility to achieve their political agenda.
The Wifely Person October 11, 2012 at 12:37 PM
I am dubious about Mr. Genadek's claims....but that's another issue. His reasoning, however, is bizarre. The government is not telling religious leaders anything of the kind, and clearly he does not understand the function of the amendment. The amendment is a civil matter dealing with preventing the recgonition of a union between two people which carries with it certain civil rights currently being denied to same sex committed couples. There are legal issues at stake that can easily be resolved with a certificate or license from the state codifying a civil union. The amendment, however, prevents the state from issue such certification. Matters of taxation, inheritence, property ownership, and other normal every day things from which a married couple benefits are denied to same sex couples. By voting yes on the amendement, Mr. Gedanek does exactly what he says he doesn't want to to: he's injecting the government into a highly personal descision.
Nburbs guy October 11, 2012 at 01:02 PM
Mr. Gedanek's motivations are suspect. Could it be that he is attempting to develop some free media attention...perhaps for his sideline business in hypnosis and motivation? I wonder how well his landscape and excavation business is doing? Make no mistake, there's money to be made in the anti-gay industry and the overhead is minimal.
Bernard P. Friel October 11, 2012 at 03:44 PM
The wifely person has made an accurate analysis of the marriage amendment issue, and of the reasons for voting against it...and while we are addressing inappropriate conduct relating to this matter, in the last week ten Vote No signs have been removed from various residential locations on Decorah, Mohican and Keokuk...and clearly these were targeted removals for at the same locations candidate campaign signs were left standing.
Donald Lee October 11, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Facts are stubborn things. Fact 1: same-sex marriage is not legal in Minnesota. Fact 2: The marriage amendment - pass or fail - will not change MN law. The marriage amendment does not deny anyone anything. It affirms current MN law. The amendment does not "inject" government anywhere it is not already involved.
Stephanie Fox October 11, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Donald, don't bundle everyone together. You said that 'there is no rational discussion possible' with those who are against this amendment. That's not much different than those who call supporters of the amendment bigots. Yes, some are, but not all. But you are incorrect in saying that the amendment only affirms state law. What an amendment would do is to cement this law making it impossible for any court but a federal court to overturn it. It's also design to bring out the most conservative voters who might not necessarily go to the polls. It's a cynical approach and if it fails, I have no doubt that we'll see this again in the next election. It's too bad that there are so many who are so willing to cast aside civil rights to achieve their political agenda.
Stephanie Fox October 11, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Very well said.
Donald Lee October 11, 2012 at 08:10 PM
I did not say that. I said there is no rational discussion with those who seek to ram their views down the throats of opponents. Those people exist on every side of every issue. The amendment makes it harder - not impossible - for state courts to decide what is a political question. That's the point. As for "casting aside civil rights", that is also what is at stake with this amendment, and the subject of debate. It is _not_ settled. Some believe, as I do, that this is not a matter of civil rights. Simply saying that it is does not make it so.
Tim October 11, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Wifely has accurately stated what many of us feel - this issue can (and should) be handled by the government by codifying a civil union with all the necessary benefits. Much to my dismay, rather than pursue this avenue of redress with civil union legislation, the same sex committed couple committed advocates have chosen to redefine marriage as the path toward these benefits - a path which for many is difficult to support as they view marriage as religious term far more than a civil term. If the amendment passes, government will still be able to codify such benefits as a civil union. It simply will not be able to use the term marriage (or marriage license). Which is probably a less devise outcome in the long run.
Nancy Breymeier October 11, 2012 at 08:55 PM
Well at least we are taking about what this amendment does or doesn't do. Facts are important when a decision like this is upon the people. Stan Genedek be happy you have only recieved verbal comments, the owners of Amore Coffee have a plate glass window broken where their vote no sign is.....A very "cold" $1,500.00 repair/statement!!!!
Lorri Barnett October 11, 2012 at 09:04 PM
If you don't want the government involved in marriage, or defining it...as it is a religious institution, then you should be voting NO (not yet)...as the government should not have anything to do with the religious institution of marriage. Instead, support taking the word marriage OUT of the "license" process and simply call it what it is...a contract between two consenting adults and call it a day. If its two men, or two women or one of each in the contract...it shouldn't matter in the eyes of the government...as the government has no business defining the religious institution of "marriage".
Just Lil O'Me October 11, 2012 at 10:15 PM
Afew things 1) what a boring world it would be if everyone thought & felt the same, we would have nothing to talk about 2) didn't the federal government already answer this question when they outlawed bigomy? I do believe they defined it as "one man, one woman" back in the 1800s when they were attacking the Mormon church 3) the Civil Union law was made to address the issues raised by gay couples not being able to wed - the ability to make medical decisions, custody of children, etc ... If gay marriage is allowed, then will the Civil Union law be rescinded? 4) Genedek has a point about government being able to force religions to "conform" - just as they did the Mormon church (and I'm sure several others, but it is the one which stands out in my mind the most) Now these are just my thoughts ... My father used to say "if a person resorts to name calling, they have already lost the debate"
Donald Lee October 11, 2012 at 10:47 PM
The bulk of marriage law, and its primary purpose is not about taxes or visitation. It's about children, and specifically the ones produced by the union. Marriage law also focuses not on good marriages, but on broken ones - custody, inheritance, support, etc. Note that child support is one of the big issues - the responsibility of the biological father to own up to his responsibilities, enforced by the state. (for good or ill) I suspect that the bulk of this can be done with private contract, but that solution is probably not "better", and in my opinion is destructive to the spirit of "marriage", which in theory is a very positive, optimistic institution. The "pre-nup" is culturally a negative document - deserved or not. I'm not at all sure that private contract could re-create the same institution once untethered from the authority of law. At minimum, this would be a Big Change. Being conservative, I'm resistant to Big Changes without Big Reasons. The desire for same sex marriage does not qualify. The subject of children "produced by the union" is also irrelevant to the subject of same-sex unions. Biology says it's not an issue.
Anna Pytynia October 12, 2012 at 02:04 AM
Stephanie, marriage is not a civil right. Nancy, no Stan should not be happy that is only what happened. That is insanity...who mails hate letters when you dont agree with an issue...hmmm lets see psychos that obviously take it personal and do not believe in the system of voting....unfortunately these are the people..yes they are......that support gay marriage...next, are we to support a new fetish or sexual perversion as a right too....?yes, we all have the right to do want we want sexually in our bedroom....you do not see hetrosexuals saying they need to have posters in the school saying it is o.k to be straight.....this is out of control...it is being pushed down the throats of everyone...leave it alone and let it be because once people start to define what is in the place of society (in all societies) where men and women create families and give incentives to a community and state as reproducing in the natural definition, there will be problems...usually it is the outcasts, the outsiders, and the ones purposing the radical or abnormal states that have to become so volatile and agressive in their behavior and purpose because being sensible and rational does not win the argument. They obviously are the ones with the hate built up inside of them......Well, I'd hate to have the kids being coached or taught by those members of society....i'd rather have my lawn landscaped
Lorri Barnett October 12, 2012 at 03:04 AM
There are all sorts of people who have babies every day that aren't married. Marriage is a construct by people, not nature. Additionally, why is everyone going to great lengths to define a word in the MN Constitution that currently over 50% of all "marriages"...deemed marriages "by law" have failed? I'd rather see two people happy and "not married (by law)" than two people who aren't happy and "married (by law)." I don't need the state to "bless" my marriage and neither should you. My marriage is between my husband, myself, and our God...no one else. When a group of people use the government to force other people to follow or adhere to their religious beliefs its called legislating morality...and it doesn't work.
Lorri Barnett October 12, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Don, should people's right to marry be up for a public vote? There is nothing about someone else's "marriage" that deserves your opinion or interest. Of all the places that we look to for moral leadership, it sure as heck isn't the government.
Eloise Swanson October 16, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Ellie Swanson I just had my over 50 son in the hosipital and they needed an OK for a procedure they wanted to do. I would have had to sign for it as his partner of 17 years could not. Is this OK? I don't think so.
Donald Lee October 16, 2012 at 09:12 PM
Different people have very different opinions on this. Parents sometimes go to court to insist on regaining "custody" of children that they believe were "abused" by spouses. Custom on this has been arrived at over many generations. We should not be so quick to cast aside that wisdom.


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