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Bookmeyer trashes Genth for “lack of tolerance” in celebrating DOMA court decision

MASON CITY – The following information is two emails forwarded to the NIT newsroom Friday morning.

The first email was written by Dean Genth, the Mason City Human Rights Commission Chairperson. Mr. Genth helped lead a celebration this week after a Supreme Court ruling that recognized the rights of same-sex couples.

The second email was written in response to Mr. Genth’s email by Mason City Mayor Eric Bookmeyer, who has been instrumental is dismantling the Human Rights agency.


Dean Genth of Mason City, a Human Rights Commissioner
Dean Genth of Mason City, a Human Rights Commissioner

Hello Everyone,

Yesterday was a most monumental and historic day in the annuls of American Civil Rights progress. I have asked Amy Simpson to forward to you the great TV Coverage that was given to the event held in Mason City’s Central Park last eve. Over 50 celebrants gathered to celebrate this Historic Day in U.S. History whereby the U.S. Supreme Court stuck down DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) as being unconstitutional. With this sweeping and historic decision, many, many American citizens will be no longer be discriminated against and denied Federal benefits that all other married couples enjoy.

Given the historic significance of this event and the notice that was published in the Globe Gazette along with the broad Facebook postings of the event and the early TV coverage of the event on KIMT’s 5:00 p.m. news, I am extremely disappointed that we did not have attendance by Mason City’s Mayor, any City Council Members or any of the Human Rights Commissioners or any Friends of the Commission at the 7:00 p.m. Celebration. A lot of voters with extended families were able to plainly see which elected officials really have a heart for civil rights of individuals in Mason City.

Dean A. Genth, Chair
Mason City Human Rights Commission


Mayor Eric Bookmeyer
Mayor Eric Bookmeyer


From: Eric Bookmeyer
Sent: Friday, June 28, 2013 10:20 AM


The author of the previous correspondence displays a lack of tolerance that is not acceptable and raises serious questions about one’s quasi-judicial temperament.

In fact, it is devoid of any awareness of any individual’s personal circumstance and is, in effect, bullying commissioners, friends of the commission, council members and the office of the mayor. However, it is loaded with baseless and harmful accusations.

It is disappointing that its genesis is from a quasi judicial commissioner, let alone the chair of the Human Rights Commission.

It is even more disappointing that the chair used a taxpayer paid administrative assistant to distribute a personal political message.

Although I appreciate the natural exuberance in an event I generally concur with, it is not acceptable to be in a position of influence and lay judgement upon other individual’s personal behavior, let alone their attendance at a political rally. In addition, the Human Rights Commission, and its department, is not to be used as a political operation.

To be clear, although this is a political appointment it is not a political office.

One of the core responsibilities of commissioners is to be respectful of the views of all our citizens and the resources made available to your commission.

In the future, it would be advisable to reserve one’s enthusiasm and criticism of others as you hold such a position.

Warmest regards,

Eric Bookmeyer, Mayor

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Seems to me that Genth is abusing his power as the chair of the human rights commission. Thus trying to push his political beliefs down people’s throats and Bookmeyer called him on it. Don’t always agree with bookmeyer but in this case Genth is way out of line.

wonder how long before gays want this retroactive so they get tax status changed?

IE: we wanted to get “married” 15 years ago so I should be able to collect on partner’s SS

Peter, I originally said that I thought there should have been some sort of city representation there, but upon further thought, I do not. If the ruling had gone the other way and there was a gathering of people thrilled about it, I would hope city officials would not attend.

If gay couples want the same legal rights as straight couples, why would Eric Bookmeyer have a problem with it?

Bookmeyer should be turned in to the Civil Rights Commission for discrimination I hope we can put him out of office so he can stay home and take care of his kids, lol maybe he can open up Daddy Daycare, NOT, He can take the rest of those jokes on the council with him. We need all New people on the council and nobody from the past.

Seems weird to me that Bookmeyer would respond. Most people who call or write/email seem to get no response weird huh… almost as good as the dynmaic duo of Laskbook/Wernet anyone know how many crimes their family members have committed?

Some thoughts reading all this.

Thank you for some great humor this morning. There were some real rib ticklers among the comments.

Now that our government at all levels has validated the DOMA which under the circumstances were inevitable, a new term for a Man and Woman joining together should be found and adopted.

A healthy norm needs to be distinguished between a Gay Marriage for people of the same sex and a normal marriage for a man and a women.

After all the hard work of the gay community let them have the term Gay Marriage.

Should a new term for heterosexual marriage be coined, I wonder how long it will take the gays to want the new moniker so they can appear normal.

I am sure my idea will piss the gay tribe off, oh well!

If you will notice, your ignorant mind set is in the minority.

Watchdog’s mindset is hardly “in the minority”.

You post shows you own the ignorance.

Really? Have you heard about the MAJORITY Supreme Court Ruling? Perhaps you should pull your head out of the sand. Hanging on to ignorance and bigotry is only going to give you a headache and lead to an early grave. Same sex marriage approval surpasses 50% in this country by a long ways.

I don’t know how Bookmeyer could be expected to attend and event that started at 7 pm when Happy Hour starts at 5.

He probably couldn’t stagger that far.

on this one.

I am a young 20’s gay man I live here and work here in this community is this what the citizens of Mason City really care about? BORING!!!!!

Why do you think the younger generations leave this community? Cause this is just 1 more example of DRAMA behavior 2 officals fighting over who said what typical Mason SHITTY

If I was a gay male any age, I would also want to be Anonymous!

Instead of your own real name, which you do not use?

haha! Isn’t that the truth.

Also highly unlikely: Quote “Same [guy on guy butt] sex marriage approval surpasses 50% in this country by a long ways.”

Why didn’t this guy call out the head of the DOT? Or maybe the DNR? Hell how about the guy who checks to make sure the gas pumps are right. He has no business using his office/title for this.

Turn it around. What would be said it court had ruled the other way and a member who was anti SSM sent this letter. All hell would been turned loose

Exactly right.Well said.

It is hard to judge a pissing contest when both men are sitting down

“although I appreciate the natural exuberance in an event I generally concur with, it is not acceptable to be in a position of influence and lay judgement upon other individual’s personal behavior, let alone their attendance at a political rally” While not extremely articulate, the Mayor is saying “Go ahead and celebrate this ruling but DON’T criticize anyone (including the Mayor, council,HRC or friends of the commission),that did not come to this rally. I personally applaud this ruling but did not attend this celebration either.

Just more of Bookmeyer showing his true colors. And, I really loved the ” Warmest regards…. Bookmeyer wouldn’t know warm if it bit him in the ass. He is the coldest, most mean-spirited person ( loosely stated), I have encountered in years.

The only way we can stop this crap is get him voted out of office. Potential candidates are beginning to speak up and we must all listen, work hard to get the right people elected. Mason City so deserves the best and we have mediocre at best.

This time your votes are critical… we need to restore decency and morality and a human side to our government. They represent about 1% of the people. What about the remainder of the community???

We need to stand up to the bullies like Bookmeyer and speak the truth, get involved, and don’t back down. WE need leaders that are transparent, no more back room deals before the meetings. There was a time in city politix where honesty and respect for the citizenry was the order of the day.

Since Bookmeyer got into office it has been pathetic. If his wife was not a physician, he could not be our Mayor, he would have to work for a living. As far as being a house husband, that is BS, he takes his kids to daycare. Who is he kidding?? I have heard lots of tales about how he represents himself at the daycare provider. Just about the same as he did at the hair salon!!!!!! A foul-mouthed bully and in front of one of his children.

We deserve better, much better.

Dean you are right on.. keep it up!!!

“One of the core responsibilities of commissioners is to be respectful of the views of all our citizens and the resources made available to your commission.”

As I read and re read this article what I find shocking to me: I read that statement as a passive aggressive threat.

I interpret this as hey Dean keep it up and what is left of the resources in Mason City for HRC will also be gone and finding a new Commissioner might also be the agenda for the mayor if Dean continues to have his own opinion and view and not that of the personal one of the mayor….


I don’t know when I’ve seen two more unprofessional emails. Genth for publicizing his hurt feelings or Bookmeyer for making such an ass of himself in response.

The Human Rights Committee members and the Mayor and Council should have had representation at this event, but Genth has the proper venue to chastise them. At their meetings. This public display is just childish and doesn’t say anything good about him.

Bookmeyer on the other hand should have kept his big fat mouth shut and given a phony heartfelt thanks to Genth and an apology for missing the damn event at the next council meeting.

NO class. NO respect.

Bookmeyer will get back at Dean just watch and see

Is the mayor aware that the Iowa Civil Rights Act protects individuals on the basis of sexual orientation? Is he aware that the city of Mason City has adopted the Civil Rights Act? So essentially the mayor finds Genth’s actions intolerable for celebrating a landmark federal case for a protected class under Iowa law and Mason City law?

sorry for the duplicate

Mr. Bookmeyer should be aware that the Iowa Civil Rights Code protects sexual orientation. That is the law in Iowa. The Mason City Human Rights Commission’s duty is to enforce the Iowa Civil Rights Act.

How is it political that Mr. Genth celebrate a landmark case for rights protected under Iowa law? Would it be political if there was a rally regarding a landmark case and it was about race?

Poor judgement by both. Dean shouldn’t have done this as a board member but rather as an individual. The mayor should have ignored it.
A good example of two dogs trying to hump the same fire hydrant just to claim pissing rights.

@Hacker-Exactly. In my opinion Genth has just disqualified himself from ever sitting in on any case involving gays by his actions and by representing himself at a political rally as being on the HRC Board. Now, if he wanted to go as a private citizen and express his opinions, more power to him. The HRC must be impartial and not take sides to make decisions. Otherwise, someone will have them in court. As for our mayor, his lack of professionalism does not surprise me at all.

Where’s Max Weaver when you need him????? :O

I thought at one time in this country, majoity ruled? Why noy just let the people vote on things like gay marriage? If the majority of people want it, we would have it. Same with abortion.

that was never true. You thought wrong.

Wrong again Mr. Iberra.

America is a “Republic” where we elect people to “GOVERN BY CONSENSUS”. That means carrying out the wishes of the people in case you don’t understand that. This very small vocal minority carries to much power.

If this country was being governed as a Republic as it should be Gay Marriage, Abortion, and many other harmful issues would not be forced down our throats.

Someday when the people have had enough, they will rise up against this garbage.

The majority DID want both. We elected representatives to vote the way the majority wanted.

the rights of the minorities can not be infringed upon by the majority

Is there something newsworthy here?

Bookmeyer seems like a radical far right winger. Most doctors are as well as I’m sure his wife is.

This guy is as far right as many of the low end economic Republicans we have posting here, only Book is a member of the country club.


Bookmeyer is as FAR LEFT as you can get. He won’t tell you that but his AGENDA 21 program he pushes shows it much differently.

Mr. Iberra you got your thinking cap on backwards!!!!

This is a classic, old fashioned P*ssing Contest. Both men are adults of some standing in this community and should be equally criticized for their childish behavior.

Well now that the supreme court overrules Gods judgement -Sodomy – Where does that leave the rest of us azzholes ??

This story is not about pro or anti gay…this story is about one man who decided to publicly call out the mayor and council, and the venomous response by the mayor. As an openly gay man, I assume Mr. Genth has seen his share of bias and hatred, and has learned how to fight back.

What we see here is the true nature of the beast, which is do not say anything even remotely negative about the mayor or he will come at you guns or in some cases trouts ablazin.

I do not agree with the DOMA ruling but I don’t hate anybody that does agree with it.

Surrounded by feces, like you’ve always been.

On what ballot? Because it will never be on any ballot in this state.

Mr. Genth
Just another step down the ladder in the continued moral collapse of our society! Liberalism is winning, and everyday it is harder to look at whats happening to our country. I dont care who or what you partner with, but I am sick of it , you might say, “being forced down our throats” Get out of the spotlight, we have seen enough

So it’s the spotlight you’re mad at? Then blame the press.

Ill Will is only saying he/she is not liking a mental illness or birth defect to be pushed down the majority of the populations throat without approval!

Whatever side of the DOMA issue you stand on, and everybody has the right to agree or disagree with the ruling for personal or religious reason….just for a moment mentally throw those reasons out the window. Just look at the tone of the mayors email. It is filled with a bitterness and sour taste on being called out. The line “it is loaded with baseless and harmful accusations is bull…what Mr Genth said was the absolute truth. The mayor, council, or friends of the commission, were not there plain and simple it is not baseless or harmful, it is fact.

What matt touched on using city hall employees to do a task, is in fact pot…kettle…black.

What disturbs me most is that the mayor state he “generally” agrees with the ruling…who is he trying to kid. This issue is black or white there is no grey area, you don’t get to “generally agree with it” that is politisizing at its worst.

Finally it goes to show the venum that can be spewed when the mayor does not like you or agree with you, watch out Mr. Genth the major fights very dirty.

Matt were you at this rally?If yes, as a observer or as a supporter?

Both sides are at fault here.
Mr. Genth used poor judgement by using taxpayer paid personnel to send out something that is obviously political and Bookmeyer should be settling this in a private forum, not waging a public campaign.

OK-I generally do not agree with our mayor on most issue’s and I do understand and support what Matt is saying. However, part of the message the mayor put out is right. The HRC (Genth)has no business being involved in a political function such as this was in a offical capacity. Besides, 50 people attending out of 26,000 is not what I would call a lot of enthusiasm. The comment about the pot calling the kettle black seems to be accurate.

I have no problem with the first paragraph of Dean’s email. The second paragraph was inappropriate given that the email was sent from Dean as Chair of the Commission. Had the email come from Dean the Citizen there would have been no harm. Should he have used staff to distribute the video? Given the content of the second paragraph, no. Without that second paragraph the message lacks the political content and probably would have been acceptable.

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