Is Glitter Bombing an Assault? It’s a Matter of Degree, Floyd Abrams Says
Posted Aug 30, 2011 5:30 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was introduced to glitter bombing on May 17, when a gay activist appeared at his book signing, tossed glittery confetti and yelled, “Feel the rainbow, Newt.”
Gingrich was one of several GOP presidential candidates who endured glitter-tossing protests, including one by lawyer Rachel E. B. Lang, the New York Times reports.
Gingrich tells the Times he thinks such protests are illegal. “Glitter bombing is clearly an assault and should be treated as such,” he said in an email to the newspaper. “When someone reaches into a bag and throws something on you, how do you know if it is acid or something that stains permanently or something that can blind you? People have every right to their beliefs but no right to assault others.”
The Times consulted First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams. who said the issue is all a matter of degree. “Touching someone’s body can be criminal,” he said in an email. “But it’s awfully unlikely that there would be a prosecution if it’s just a bit of glitter. But in theory, the more that’s dropped, the more likely is prosecution.”