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The Washington Independent

Rep. Paulsen, Karl Rove the latest to get ‘glittered’

Rep. Erik Paulsen and former Bush staffer Karl Rove were both showered with glitter at the Midwest Leadership Conference Friday

William Willis
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Oct 12, 2011

Rep. Erik Paulsen and former Bush staffer Karl Rove were both showered with glitter at the Midwest Leadership Conference Friday.

Paulsen was “glittered” as he was accepting the Friend of the Family award from the Minnesota Faith and Freedom Coalition on Friday morning during that group’s strategy session on passing an anti-gay marriage amendment, and Rove was hit with glitter during a book signing at the conference following his speech.

Activist Ben Egerman shouted, “Feel the rainbow,” as he tossed a box of glitter on Rove while he was signing his book for conference goers.

Rove played a large part in using same-sex marriage bans across the country in order to bolster Republican chances at the ballot box. Minnesota has a proposed constitutional amendment banning marriage rights for same-sex coupleso n the ballot in 2012.

A few hours earlier, Michael Cahill shouted, “You’re no friend to my family!” as he threw glitter on Rep. Erik Paulsen as he was receiving an award as a “Friend of the Family” by the Minnesota Faith and Freedom Coalition. The group was founded by Ralph Reed as a 21st Century version of the Christian Coalition and much of its leadership is dedicated to convincing voters to pass a constitutional ban on gay marriage.

Paulsen, who generally stays mum on social issues, got the support of James Dobson in his first run for Congress. Earlier this year, he voted against repealing the military’s ban on gay and lesbian service members.

“Because of the hateful rhetoric of people like Erik Paulsen and Karl Rove, I was subjected to ‘reparative’ therapy as a teenager,” Cahill said in a statement following the events. “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.”

“Let me be clear, we are going to continue these glitter actions so long as people like Paulsen and Rove are doing everything they possibly can to make the lives of queer people worse,” Egerman added.

The glitterings are the brainchild of Nick Espinosa, who glittered Newt Gingrich at a book signing in May and held two actions at Rep. Michele Bachmann’s Christian counseling business. His actions inspired the glittering of Tim Pawlenty in San Francisco earlier this year and the Minnesota Family Council at the State Fair. The movement hit popular culture when, several weeks ago, the season premiere of Glee used glittering as part of the story line.

“We’ve seen this show before,” said Espinosa. “Republicans are using Minnesotans in a desperate attempt to boost turn-out in 2012, not caring what damage they do to Minnesotan families along the way. It’s sick, it’s twisted, and it shows the desperate lengths that this party will go to in order to further their quest for political power.”

William Willis | William Willis is a freelance writer and social media manager who specializes in assisting finance professionals and Fintech entrepreneurs in growing their online audience and attracting more paying customers. William worked as a bank teller and virtual assistant for financial firms in the United States and the United Kingdom for six years before beginning her writing career. William is a strong force in the workplace, inspiring others to work hard and excel with her optimistic attitude and boundless energy. He enjoys hiking, crocheting, and playing video games with her grandchildren in her spare time.


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