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Glitter bombing

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Title: Glitter bombing  
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Glitter bombing

Vermin Supreme glitter bombs Randall Terry during a Democratic Party presidential debate

Glitter bombing is an act of protest in the United States in which activists throw glitter on people at public events.[1] Glitter bombers have frequently been motivated by, though not limited to, their targets' opposition to same-sex marriage.[2]

Some legal officials argue glitter bombing is technically assault and battery. It is possible for glitter to enter the eyes or nose and cause damage to the cornea or other soft tissues potentially irritating them or leading to infection,[3] depending on the size of the glitter. Whether a prosecutor would pursue the charges depends on a number of factors.[4]

In 2012, University of Colorado-Boulder student Peter Smith faced up to six months in jail and a fine of $1000 for the alleged glitter bombing of presidential candidate Mitt Romney at a Colorado campaign event.[5]


Recipient Date Location Details
Newt Gingrich May 17, 2011 Minneapolis, Minnesota The former Speaker of the House of Representatives and his wife Callista were showered with glitter at a book signing. Nick Espinosa dumped a full box of glitter on them, shouting "Stop the hate!" and "Feel the rainbow, Newt!"[6][7][8]
Tim Pawlenty June 16, 2011 San Francisco, California Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, was showered with glitter and pink feathers by Nancy Mancias and Chelsea Byers, two members of the anti-war coalition CODEPINK. He was targeted at a book signing in San Francisco, with the perpetrators stating that Pawlenty's "homophobic attitude" and opposition to recognition of same-sex unions in Minnesota motivated them.[7]
Michele Bachmann June 18, 2011 Minneapolis, Minnesota Bachmann, a member of the GetEQUAL and COLAGE. Lang was motivated by Bachmann's support for a ministry that opposes LGBT issues.[9]
Bachmann & Associates July 21, 2011 Lake Elmo, Minnesota Michele Bachmann's husband Marcus Bachmann is a therapist whose clinical practices, in particular his practicing reparative therapy designed to change the sexual orientation of patients from homosexual to heterosexual, drew scrutiny during his wife's 2012 presidential campaign. Activists dressed as barbarians (a reference to a comment by Marcus Bachmann analogizing homosexuality to barbarism) glitter bombed Bachmann & Associates' Minnesota office to protest the Bachmanns' stances on LGBT issues.[10]
Minnesota for Marriage September 4, 2011 Falcon Heights, Minnesota Minnesota for Marriage, an organization that favors passing a constitutional amendment disallowing same-sex marriage in Minnesota, was glitter bombed at the 2011 Minnesota State Fair by protesters opposed to the amendment.[11]
Karl Rove October 7, 2011 Bloomington, Minnesota During a book signing, Rove was glitter bombed by Ben Egerman. No charges were filed.[12]
Erik Paulsen October 7, 2011 Bloomington, Minnesota Congressman Erik Paulsen (R-MN) who was receiving a "Friend of the Family" award for his efforts to place a constitution amendment to ban marriages for same-sex couples on the ballot in Minnesota for 2012. Michael Cahil shouted "You're no friend to my family!" as he showered Paulsen with glitter.[12]
Dan Savage November 1, 2011 Eugene, Oregon Savage was glitter bombed on November 1, 2011, at the University of Oregon, Eugene. The glitter bomber said they were a representative of the "Dan Savage Welcoming Committee" and that Savage was a "transphobe" as well as "racist and misogynist and a rape-apologist".[13]
November 9, 2011 Irvine, California Savage was hit again on November 9, 2011, at a talk at the University of California, Irvine, with one bomber saying Savage was transphobic.[14]
January 21, 2012 Vancouver, British Columbia Queer activists glitter bombed Dan Savage on January 21, 2012, on the way into his "It Gets Better" show at the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver. His response was "Oh no! Not again!" The group said the bombing was in response to "ableism, ageism, classism, misogyny, racism, rape-apologism, serophobia, sizism, transphobia and, oh yeah, that column".[15]
Randall Terry December 19, 2011 Goffstown, New Hampshire Terry was glitter bombed by fellow presidential candidate Vermin Supreme during a lesser-known candidates forum.[16] Vermin said that Jesus told him to turn Terry gay.[17]
Rick Santorum January 21, 2012 Charleston, South Carolina Santorum's first glitter bombing was at his South Carolina primary headquarters over the January 21–22 weekend of 2012. Occupy Charleston claimed credit for the incident. The protesters were forcibly removed after protesting Santorum's stance on LGBT+ rights.[18]
January 23, 2012 Lady Lake, Florida During a Florida presidential primary stop in Lady Lake, Florida, he was showered by a glitter bomb from protesters.[19]
Joe Lieberman January 28, 2012 Washington, D.C. Senator Lieberman was glitter bombed by protesters with Occupy D.C. when he attended the Alfalfa Club's annual banquet.[20]
Mitt Romney February 1, 2012 Eagan, Minnesota Romney was glitter bombed at a rally in Eagan, Minnesota. His response was to smile and proclaim it was confetti for winning Florida.[21]
Rick Santorum February 2, 2012 Columbia, Missouri Santorum was again glitter bombed while at a presidential primary campaign event that also featured Focus on the Family founder James Dobson.[22]
Ron Paul February 6, 2012 Minneapolis, Minnesota Ron Paul was glitter bombed at a rally in the Minneapolis Convention Center by a protester who shouted "Housing and health care are human rights not privileges!"[23]
Mitt Romney February 7, 2012 Denver, Colorado Romney was glitter bombed again following a speech during the Colorado Primary. A protester attempted to glitter bomb Romney, but was quickly caught and removed by Secret Service agents, and he pled guilty to disturbing the peace in April 2012.[24]
Rick Santorum February 13, 2012 Tacoma, Washington During a presidential primary stop in Tacoma, Washington, Santorum was covered in a "blizzard of glitter".[25]
February 15, 2012 Fargo, North Dakota Santorum made a presidential primary stop in Fargo, North Dakota, and was showered by a glitter bomb in front of a packed crowd at a Holiday Inn. He launched into his speech seemingly unfazed by the event.[26]
Germaine Greer March 14, 2012 Wellington, New Zealand Germaine Greer was glitter bombed at a book signing at the Embassy Theatre in Wellington, New Zealand. A group known as the Queer Avengers was responsible. They were protesting Greer's views on transsexualism, which the group claims are transphobic.[27]
Lindsay Lohan March 18, 2013 Los Angeles, California Lindsay Lohan and her media swarm were showered with gold glitter as she walked to the Los Angeles Court house on 18 March. The woman suspected of throwing the glitter was not arrested and there was no apparent motive.[28]


Former US presidential candidate Mike Huckabee compared glitter bombing to assault and stated, "The people ought to be arrested who did that. That’s an assault."[29]

In fiction

In the Season 3 premiere of Glee, William McKinley High School teacher and Glee Club director Will Schuester glitter bombs cheerleading coach and candidate for the United States House of Representatives Sue Sylvester as a protest against her support for cutting federal funding for the arts in public schools. The tactic backfires, as Sue sees a boost in her poll numbers after the event is posted to YouTube.

See also


  1. ^ Vinciguerra, Thomas (August 27, 2011). Glittering Rage. The New York Times
  2. ^ Moody, Chris (June 20, 2011). "‘Glitter advocates’ plot their next victim". Yahoo! News. Retrieved October 7, 2011. 
  3. ^ Kurtz, Judy (02/08/12). "Eye doctor warns of dangers of political protest on gay marriage". The Hill. 
  4. ^ van der Pool, Lisa (September 2, 2011). "All that glitters is not gold, in the eyes of legal system". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved November 21, 2011. 
  5. ^ Hayden, Erik (Feb 9, 2012). Time . Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  6. ^ "US presidential candidate Newt Gingrich showered in glitter". BBC News. May 18, 2011. Retrieved October 7, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Roberts, Christine (June 17, 2011). "Protesters glitter bomb GOP candidate Tim Pawlenty". Daily News. Retrieved October 7, 2011. 
  8. ^ Espinosa, Nick (October 3, 2011). "The Glitter Bomber Speaks: A New Generation Feels the Rainbow". Huffington Post. 
  9. ^ "Bachmann joins the glitteratti". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. June 18, 2011. Retrieved October 7, 2011. 
  10. ^ Grindley, Lucas (July 21, 2011). Barbarians" Raid Marcus Bachmann's Office""". The Advocate. Retrieved October 7, 2011. 
  11. ^ Buchta, Jim (September 6, 2011). "Glitter rains down on group backing marriage amendment". Star Tribune. Retrieved October 7, 2011. 
  12. ^ a b Michelson, Noah (October 7, 2011). "Glitterati, LGBT+ Rights Activists, Glitter Bomb Karl Rove And Republican Minnesota Congressman Erik Paulsen". The Huffington Post. 
  13. ^ Hill-Meyer, Tobi (November 2, 2011). "Dan Savage Gets Glitter Bombed for Being Transphobic". The Bilerico Project. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  14. ^ Hill-Meyer, Tobi (November 14, 2011). "Dan Savage Glittered Again, Student Arrested". The Bilerico Project. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  15. ^ Oommen, Isaac (January 21, 2012). "Dan Savage Glitterbombed". Vancouver Media Co-op. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  16. ^ "In New Hampshire, fringe candidates get their moment". Reuters. December 20, 2011. Retrieved December 21, 2011. 
  17. ^ Ríos, Simón (December 20, 2011). "Lesser-known candidates bring colorful campaigns to St. Anselm".  
  18. ^ "Rick Santorum Gets Glitter Bombed, Again". MSNBC. January 24, 2012. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  19. ^ "'"Santorum recipient of another 'glitter bomb. January 23, 2012. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  20. ^ Morgenstern, Madeleine (January 29, 2012). "Occupy DC Targets Exclusive Presidential Dinner, Sen. Lieberman Glitter-Bombed". The Blaze. 
  21. ^ "Mitt Romney glitter bombed, calls it confetti". CBS News. February 1, 2012. Retrieved February 1, 2012. 
  22. ^ "Fulton, Columbia crowds hear Santorum's views". Columbia Tribune. February 4, 2012. Retrieved February 5, 2012. 
  23. ^ "Ron Paul glitterbombed at Minneapolis Convention Center". February 6, 2012. Retrieved February 7, 2012. 
  24. ^ Posted: 04/13/2012 8:41 am Updated: 04/13/2012 9:01 am (2012-04-13). "Mitt Romney Glitter Bomb: Peter Smith Pleads Guilty To Disturbing The Peace For Glitter Bombing After Colo. Caucus (PHOTOS, VIDEO)". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2012-12-31. 
  25. ^ "Santorum in Tacoma: Protesters and a Glitter Bomb". February 14, 2012. Retrieved February 16, 2012. 
  26. ^ "Even In Fargo, Rick Santorum Cannot Escape The Glitter Bomb". February 15, 2012. Retrieved February 16, 2012. 
  27. ^ "Germaine Greer 'glitter bombed' by Queer Avengers".  
  28. ^ "This Lindsay Lohan glitter bomb photo is the best glitter bomb photo ever — and it’s not even close". RYOT. March 8, 2013. 
  29. ^ Martel, Frances (June 18, 2011). "Mike Huckabee: Presidential Glitter Assailants Should Be Arrested". Mediaite. Retrieved October 7, 2011. 
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