Glitterati, Gay Rights Activists, Glitter Bomb Karl Rove And Republican Minnesota Congressman Erik Paulsen
Today the Glitterati, a group of activists who have become infamous for glitter bombing anti-gay politicians, struck again.
This time their victims were Karl Rove, who was doing a book signing at the Minnesota Faith and Freedom Strategy Session in Bloomington, Minnesota, and 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.
Nick Espinosa, who invented the glitter bomb and used it against Newt Gingrich at a book signing back in May, told The Huffington Post that Ben Egerman bombed Rove (see video above) and was then detained by the police.
"I wasn't there but I heard that they interrogated him and was told that he was being taken to the Bloomington police department to be charged with assault. However, 20 minutes later I got a call that he was free and no charges would be filed," Espinosa said.
Earlier in the day, Michael Cahil, a member of the Glitterati, shouted “You’re no friend to my family!” as he showered Paulsen with glitter:
In a press release sent out after the event, Cahil said:
“Because of the hateful rhetoric of people like Erik Paulsen, I was subjected to “reparative” therapy as a teenager. It’s this sort of twisted belief and hateful language that motivates families across the country to push loved ones into harmful treatment, endangering their vitality and emotional stability in the process.”
“We want to protest the ongoing attempts to restrict the rights of gay people in Minnesota and the inclusion of anti-gay bigotry in politics. You don’t vote on human rights. This effort to re-write the state constitution to include hatred and bigotry is a hate crime, pure and simple — it’s just taking place at the ballot box instead of on the street.”
After Espinosa's initial bombing in May, glitter became activists' weapon of choice for drawing attention to anti-gay politicians.
In June Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty was showered by activists looking to draw attention to his opposition to the policy priorities of both gay and women's rights advocates.
Days later Michele Bachmann was hit by a gay rights activist while attending the conservative RightOnline conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A month after that a clinic owned by Bachmann and her husband, Marcus, was glittered.
The arts and crafts-based activist tactic has even crossed over into popular culture. Earlier this fall, during the premiere of the third season of "Glee," Jane Lynch's character, Sue Sylvester, was glitter bombed.
In a recent piece written for HuffPost Gay Voices, Espinosa, who is straight, explained why he chose the glitter bomb for his gay rights activism:
"The strength of glitter is that humor is an incredibly powerful tool for communicating a message -- even a deadly serious one. We use humor to give hope to ourselves and each other, while contrasting our approach with the hateful and cruel attacks on our communities.
As I have learned, creating a spectacle effectively engages the 24-hour news cycle and gives an opportunity to embed a succinct message in that moment. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter allow a short YouTube clip to go viral and reach audiences we would have never imagined."
Correction: A representative from Karl Rove's office says Rove was actually attending the Midwest Republican Leadership Conference when he was glitter bombed.