Straight Pride Organizers Receive Suspicious Package of… Glitter?

Straight Pride Organizers Receive Suspicious Package of… Glitter?
Marchers and general atmosphere during the WorldPride NYC 2019 March on June 30, 2019 in New York City. Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Organizers for Boston's controversial "straight pride" parade reported receiving suspicious packages by mail. The letters contained content "bigger than grains of sand" that turned out to be glitter with Bible verses preaching acceptance and tolerance. The FBI determined the letters to be a legal use of the postal service and declared there's no threat to the public.

"It wasn't powder, it was bigger than powder, it felt more granular in nature, bigger than sand. I was immediately alarmed, of course. I could hear something shaking," organizer Samson Racioppi told a Boston CBS affiliate.

Racioppi and other members of Super Happy Fun America, the group organizing the "straight pride" parade, received the same letters. Each piece of mail did not have a return address and had "Happy Pride" written in rainbow colors. Inside the letters contained glitter and Bible verses like Psalms 86:15, "But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness..."

The FBI and the Massachusetts bomb squad responded to the glitter threat and are working with local officials to determine who is behind the threat.

"We, of course, called the police," John Hugo, one of the organizers of the parade, told CBS. "I mean why would we open something like that. Even if it's nothing in it, it's still terrorism as far as I'm concerned because obviously it's meant to intimidate us."

Mark Sahady, vice president of Super Happy Fun America, says the group received the letters because of the parade.

"It got a lot of news coverage, so it obviously had to do with the parade," Sahady told CNN.

But Racioppi says the threats will not deter the group's efforts.

"If anything, it will make us more determined," Racioppi told Boston's NBC10.

The group has planned the parade for August 31 in Boston, depending on if the group receives the necessary permits from the city. Controversial conservative activist Milo Yiannopoulos is slated to be the Grand Marshall of the parade.

The groups website says "Super Happy Fun America advocates on behalf of the straight community in order to build respect, inclusivity, equality, diversity, unity, solidarity, dignity, social mobility, empowerment, sustainability, justice, awareness, intersectionality, human rights, education, access, participation, dialogue, visibility, tolerance, and alliances with people from all walks of life. We encourage everyone to embrace our community's diverse history, culture, and identity regardless of sexual orientation."

"Straight people are an oppressed majority," Hugo is quoted as saying on the group's website. "We will fight for the right of straights everywhere to express pride in themselves without fear of judgment and hate. The day will come when straights will finally be included as equals among all of the other orientations."

The Human Rights Campaign reports that the third-highest rate of reported hate crimes is against LGBTQ people (after race and religion). The FBI's hate crime statistics report that most hate-based violence against LGBTQ people occurs in private homes and residences. ProPublica reported that there were 148 anti-heterosexual hate crimes reported to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports in 2016, but that more than half of those reported crimes were either outright false, actually crimes against LGBTQ people or miscategorized.