LGBT: Glitter from Heaven at Minnesota State (un)Fair

Glitter rained down from the sky Sunday at the Minnesota State Fair as activists sprinkled sparkles onto the Minnesota for Marriage booth and participants shouted

Where’s our booth?! Equality for all!

When the fair opened, neither the anti-marriage equality group Minnesota for Marriage (more like Minnesota against Marriage, since the coalition of the Minnesota Family Council, the Minnesota Catholic Conference and the National Organization for Marriage oppose same-sex marriage) nor the pro-equality group Minnesotans United for All Families were able to secure booths. Minnesota for Marriage –I am trying really hard not to abbreviate them as M4M but I can’t resist–set up a few blocks away outside a church, while Minnesotans United shared space with the Independence, Green and DFL (Democratic-Farmer-Labor) parties.

The local Christian radio station helped out the anti-equality group. Broadcasting from a little white house inside the fairgrounds, KKMS regularly announced:

While you’re visiting the fair, please, stop by the Minnesota for Marriage information booth in front of Church of the Holy Childhood.

But on Labor Day Weekend, the fair’s last three days, all of sudden M4M was given space for a booth, while Minnesotans United for All Families were not. And as the video shows, people felt that was unfair.

Marriage equality is also a focus at the Minnesota House of Representatives State Fair poll booth, featuring the unscientific poll that queries fair-goers about issues that will be on November 2012 statewide ballot in Minnesota, like ice-fishing laws, and an ID requirement for voting, and whether Minnesota should add a constitutional amendment that would prohibit same-sex marriage. The amendment, which was sponsored by the Republican-controlled legislature,  passed the constitutional ballot question in May. According to Minnesota Public Radio:

The Minnesota Republican Party doesn’t promote a position on the marriage amendment at its booth, and a spokeswoman said the party has no plans to do anything with it during the fair.

Independence Party volunteer James “Red” Nelson told MPR:

This is Minnesota. They don’t pry into other people’s business. Let them do what they want.

Alex Hindin, a volunteer for  Minnesotans United at the DFL booth told

I just think it’s completely ridiculous and unfair that in 2011 and 2012, we’re going to be fighting about something like whether people should be able to get married. We’ve got so many economic problems; our foreign policy is a mess; the country needs so many things, so many problems to address, but instead we’re dividing ourselves over something like this, over preventing some people from getting married.”

I’m Jewish. And my family was pushed out of Eastern Europe by people when the government wanted to distract people from real issues and pick a scapegoat to kick around. I think I’m pretty sensitive to when the same thing’s happening here.

State Rep. Rick Hansen, DFL-South St. Paul told Minnesota Public Radio:

We’re getting folks that say, “Why is this happening? We had the budget issue and we had this focus on the amendment, why is this happening now?’ That’s been the number one question I’ve had here so far.

Fair-going glitter-bomb participant Joanna Hirvela promised:

Wherever there is bigotry, let there be glitter.

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Lisa Derrick

Lisa Derrick

Los Angeles native, attended UC Berkeley and Loyola Marymount University before punk rock and logophilia overtook her life. Worked as nightclub columnist, pop culture journalist and was a Hollywood housewife before writing for and editing Sacred History Magazine. Then she discovered the thrill of politics. She also appears frequently on the Dave Fanning Show, one of Ireland's most popular radio broadcasts.