Oklahoma: Gay politician attacked by three men outside bar
Police in Oklahoma are investigating an attack on one of the state’s first openly gay politicians.
Former county commissioner Jim Roth was assaulted outside the Grandad’s bar in Oklahoma City earlier this month.
“The victim was assaulted, he was not seriously hurt, but he was struck several times,” Oklahoma City Police Master Sgt Gary Knight told KFOR-TV.
The bar’s owner condemned the attack in a post on Facebook.
“We will not tolerate bigotry and hate. You don’t have to love everyone who walks in the door like we do but you do have to tolerate them. Gay, straight, black, white, plumber, politician, whatever… let’s just all have a drink and be cool.”
Police said Mr Roth got into a verbal altercation with a man who made anti-gay comments.
When Mr Roth later walked outside the bar, he found himself attacked by three men, he believes the incident was motivated by homophobia – although police are currently not treating the assault as a hate crime.
“Often local law enforcement is simply not equipped to deal with hate crimes,” Scott Hamilton, an LGBT community activist warned.