News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

DPS: Glitter Bombs Weapon Of Choice For Gay Rights Advocates

Frankie Leon
Texas Tribune

In an email forwarded to legislative staffers on Thursday, a Department of Public Safety captain warned of "glitter bombs" being sent to state lawmakers.

Included in the email: a document titled "Glitter Bombing: Weapon of Choice for Gay Rights, Pro Choice Advocates." 

According to the DPS email, passed along to Senate chiefs of staff by Patsy Spaw, the secretary of the Senate, state Rep. Debbie Riddle's district office in Spring recently received such a parcel — a spring-loaded tube filled with glitter. 

"Glitter bombing is a relatively recent phenomenon and has been adopted as a form of protest, particularly (but not exclusively) by gay rights activists and supporters," the document attached to the email reads. It goes on to list several prominent politicians who were glitter bombed, and says, "The common denominator among these political figures is a conservative orientation and opposition to gay rights, especially marriage equality."

Heather Busby, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, took umbrage with the document, saying it unfairly labeled abortion rights activists. She compared it to former Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst's claim that visitors to the Capitol during 2013's abortion fight were bringing "bags of feces."

"It's all talk with no actual facts or proof to back it up," Busby said. "In the pro-choice movement, we advocate using logic, reason and the strong values of our issue rather than glitter." 

Kevin Nix, communications director of the gay rights group Texas Wins, said DPS "has it wrong." 

"Our 'weapon of choice' to end ugly discrimination against hardworking gay and transgender Texans are core values — like opportunity and freedom," he said. "Glitter is not one of them."

Tom Vinger, a DPS spokesman, declined to say whether his department made the attachment. 

"DPS does not discuss security-related matters or investigations," he said.

And Riddle's office would not comment on the incident. In the case of Riddle's glitter bomb, no sender has been identified. 

The DPS email attachment links to a Daily Dot story that shows a glitter bomb in action, and warns that glitter bombs can pose health hazards if the glitter enters the eyes, nose or lungs. 

The Texas Tribune provided this story.