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Minnesota for Marriage glitterbombed at state fair

The “glitterbombs” that have targeted Michele and Marcus Bachmann, Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty were taken to the Minnesota State Fair on Saturday when Minnesota For Marriage, a group that opposes rights for same-sex couples, was showered with glitter from the fair’s Skyride. The glitterbomb phenomenon, homegrown in Minnesota, has also secured a place in pop culture. Fox’s hit show Glee is explicitly using the glitterbomb in its fall season promotional ads and the New York Times examined the phenomenon last week.

Minnesota for Marriage, a coalition of the Minnesota Family Council, the National Organization for Marriage and the Minnesota Catholic Conference, announced on Thursday that the group had landed space at the Minnesota State Fair. The group had previously been relegated to a church outside the fairgrounds. Those opposing the anti–gay marriage amendment under the banner of Minnesotans United for All Families, also didn’t have space at the fair, opting to partner with other groups. Neither group was able to get space at the annual event because the decision to put the amendment on the ballot wasn’t made until late May — well after the application process for state fair vendors.

But on Thursday, Minnesota for Marriage announced that it had secured space inside the fair, and Minnesotans United cried foul.

“We talked with the Concessions and Exhibits Staff,” Minnesotans United director Donald McFarland told Minnesota Public Radio. “They were very clear that they were accepting no new vendors and that we could apply for next year.”

In reaction to Minnesota for Marriage’s space at the fair, a group of activists — not connected to Minnesotans United — dropped glitter from the state fair’s Skyride, a series of gondolas traveling along a guidewire above the fairgrounds. The activists shouted, “Where’s our booth?!” and “Equality for all.”

“As LGBT people are excluded from basic rights like marriage, the voices of marriage equality activists in Minnesota were excluded from having a booth at the Minnesota state fair,” said participant Joanna Hirvela in a statement following the glitterbomb. “But we will not be silenced. Wherever there is bigotry, let there be glitter.”

The glitterbomb has quickly become a pop culture reference, especially following Fox’s decision to use it in its upcoming promotions of the hit show Glee.

The ad makes direct reference to activist Nick Espinosa shouting “Taste the rainbow” as he showered presidential candidate Newt Gingrich with glitter at a book signing hosted by the Minnesota Family Council earlier this year.

The New York Times gave the glitterbomb copious column-inches last week when it featured the phenomenon: “Less confrontational than spattering fur coats with red paint to promote animal rights, or throwing pies at opponents, glitter bombing generally doesn’t yield dry cleaning bills. But glitter bombs have staying power. Weeks after the incident, the victim will probably still be brushing off pesky, iridescent pieces of the stuff, a tangible reminder of an issue that won’t go away.”

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