Glitter bombing is an act of protest in which activists throw glitter on people at public events. Glitter bombers have frequently been motivated by, though not limited to, their targets' opposition to same-sex marriage.
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, depending on the size of the glitter. Whether a prosecutor would pursue the charges depends on a number of factors.
In 2012, University of Colorado-Boulder student Peter Smith faced up to six months in jail and a fine of $1000 for allegedly glitter bombing presidential candidate Mitt Romney at a Colorado campaign event.
|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!"|
|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.|
|Michele Bachmann||June 18, 2011||Minneapolis, Minnesota||Bachmann, a member of the United States House of Representatives from Minnesota, was glitter bombed in Minneapolis by Rachel E. B. Lang with the support of the LGBT-interest organizations GetEQUAL and COLAGE. Lang was motivated by Bachmann's support for a ministry that opposes LGBT issues.|
|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.|
|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.|
|Karl Rove||October 7, 2011||Bloomington, Minnesota||During a book signing, Rove was glitter bombed by Ben Egerman. No charges were filed.|
|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.|
|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".|
|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.|
|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".|
|Randall Terry||December 19, 2011||Goffstown, New Hampshire||Terry was glitter bombed by fellow presidential candidate Vermin Supreme during a lesser-known candidates forum at Saint Anselm College. Vermin said that Jesus told him to turn Terry gay.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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!"|
|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 pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace in April 2012.|
|Rick Santorum||February 13, 2012||Tacoma, Washington||During a presidential primary stop in Tacoma, Washington, Santorum was covered in a "blizzard of glitter".|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|George Galloway||November 22, 2016||Aberdeen, Scotland||George Galloway was covered in glitter as he attempted to give a talk to the University of Aberdeen Politics & International Relations Society. A group of students carried out the protest citing Galloway's alleged rape apologism and antisemitism.|
Postal glitter bombs
Glitter bombs can be sent through the post, so that glitter falls from an envelope or is forcefully ejected from a larger, spring-loaded package when opened. In 2015, several websites offered a service where an envelope containing loose glitter could be sent anonymously to a victim.
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.
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- Morgenstern, Madeleine (January 29, 2012). "Occupy DC Targets Exclusive Presidential Dinner, Sen. Lieberman Glitter-Bombed". The Blaze.
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- "Fulton, Columbia crowds hear Santorum's views". Columbia Tribune. February 4, 2012. Retrieved February 5, 2012.
- "Ron Paul glitterbombed at Minneapolis Convention Center". blogs.citypages.com. February 6, 2012. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
- 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.
- "Santorum in Tacoma: Protesters and a Glitter Bomb". wsj.com. February 14, 2012. Retrieved February 16, 2012.
- "Even In Fargo, Rick Santorum Cannot Escape The Glitter Bomb". buzzfeed.com. February 15, 2012. Retrieved February 16, 2012.
- "Germaine Greer 'glitter bombed' by Queer Avengers". The New Zealand Herald. March 14, 2012. Retrieved October 7, 2012.
- "This Lindsay Lohan glitter bomb photo is the best glitter bomb photo ever — and it's not even close". RYOT. March 8, 2013.
- "Watch moment George Galloway 'is attacked with glitter during scuffle with student protesters at university'". Daily Mirror. November 22, 2016.
- Towe, Peter (18 January 2015). "Son sends dad spring-loaded glitter bomb". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
- McGinn, Dave. "Glitter bombs: more whimper than an evil bang". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
- Martel, Frances (June 18, 2011). "Mike Huckabee: Presidential Glitter Assailants Should Be Arrested". Mediaite. Retrieved October 7, 2011.