Crime | News | Oklahoma

Jim Roth, One of Oklahoma's First Openly Gay Lawmakers, Attacked in Hate Crime: VIDEO

Jim Roth, former county commissioner and one-time member of the corporation commission, was attacked outside a bar in Oklahoma City. The police say they can't classify the assault as a hate crime, even though that's clearly what it was, KFOR reports:

RothLegally speaking, it’s hard for local police to classify these kind of assaults as hate crimes but Roth and others said there’s no doubt the crime was fueled by bigotry. Police said Roth got into a verbal altercation with a man who made some anti-gay comments. When Roth later walked outside the bar, he found himself attacked by three men.

“The victim was assaulted, he was not seriously hurt, but he was struck several times,” Oklahoma City police Master Sgt. Gary Knight said.

The bar’s Facebook page includes a scathing editorial.

The owner of Grandad’s condemned the alleged hate crime writing, “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.”

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. I'm sure it must be tough to be gay in Oklahoma. I hope Jim Roth sees justice done.

    Posted by: Jack M | Apr 23, 2013 3:23:21 PM


  2. The story here is not that Jim Roth was attacked. But that the bar - Gran Daddies where the attack happened took out an ad in a local weekly lifestyle newspaper "Oklahoma Gazette" denouncing the attack.

    Posted by: kent fischer | Apr 23, 2013 3:31:23 PM


  3. I agree, Kent. My friend goes to the same church as the owners of the bar, and from what I understand, they're amazing people. So glad that they took such a public stance against this attack.

    Posted by: Okieboy | Apr 23, 2013 3:55:09 PM


  4. @Jack M,

    Because anti-gay hate crimes [the REAL ones, not the many faux ones], or just violent assaults in general, don't happen in L.A., S.F. , Seattle, Chicago,D.C., Atlanta, Philly,NYC, Boston, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, London, Paris, Berlin.....

    Posted by: ratbastard | Apr 23, 2013 4:08:52 PM


  5. They happen everywhere, rat, we know, and they're tragically increasing. But there's a culture of intolerance in a state like OK that isn't there in a city like NYC or Seattle. That's a fact.

    My heart goes out to Jim. Things have progressed but things are still scary for us. The best way to handle these attacks is by being even more unabashedly gay and proud in who you are.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Apr 23, 2013 5:00:55 PM


  6. if you have the misfortune to live in oklahoma get out now! the most backward idiots in the entire country. just 3 years even in tulsa, one of the more "progressive" parts of that god-forsaken state, were unbearable.

    Posted by: candide001 | Apr 23, 2013 5:07:10 PM


  7. Heterosexuals go to gay bars or any other gay venue to harrass and attack gay people.

    Posted by: Billy Crytical | Apr 23, 2013 5:43:08 PM


  8. Heterosexuals go to gay bars or any other gay venue to harrass and attack gay people.

    Posted by: Billy Crytical | Apr 23, 2013 5:43:08 PM


  9. I live in Oklahoma and it's bad. I literally have been attacked twice in the past year out of nowhere by homophobes hurling anti gay insults. Granted, I live in a rural part of Oklahoma but it's not fun. If people suspect you're gay, they literally roll down their windows and start screaming names at you. I'm trying to save to move because I didn't choose to be gay and it's not fear to literally fear your life anytime you're in public just minding your own business. I'm tired of it all but trying to stay strong.

    Posted by: Jimmy | Apr 23, 2013 6:40:38 PM


  10. Our communities next chapter needs to be spear heading our efforts to end homophobia in the South and Middle America. Some gay people have NO clue how hostile those parts can be for members of our community.

    My boyfriend tells stories of growing up in Mississippi and it is insane the hate people have in their hearts and how closed minded so many in those parts can be. And those of us not in those areas just don't realize how bad LGBT have it there.

    Posted by: Steve-ATL | Apr 23, 2013 6:44:06 PM


  11. This breaks my heart. It really does.

    Posted by: Two Dads | Apr 23, 2013 6:45:23 PM


  12. This....this right here is why every one of us should be engaged in eliminating homophobia in our own small way. Not just for ourselves, but for others, for the next generation and for a more humane society.

    Posted by: Klien | Apr 23, 2013 6:46:20 PM


  13. They teach them young to hate in the Bible Belt. Oklahoma.....What a nasty joke of a state. Ignorance and witch doctor preachers rule.

    Posted by: Rob | Apr 23, 2013 6:54:54 PM


  14. Their own willful ignorance is the only thing that makes Hate Crimes legislation difficult to enforce.

    As one kid from the backwater to another, stay strong Jimmy!

    Posted by: FFS | Apr 23, 2013 6:57:42 PM


  15. How terrible! Hopefully those responsible are caught and punished.

    Posted by: MuscleModelBlog.com | Apr 23, 2013 7:41:22 PM


  16. Jimmy, I am originally from rural Oklahoma as well. In 2000 I started planning to leave myself. I decided that it probably would't get significantly better in OK in my lifetime. With the hate being stoked by the religious right nationally, the bible thumpers in places like in OK seemed to feel particularly empowered. I know what you're feeling. I've often described it as living with PTSD because you are constantly hyper aware of your surroundings. My fear is that once marriage equality is a reality in places like OK many people will become unglued and look for a target for their anger/fear/hate. I support you in your decision to move. Stay strong and get out soon.

    Posted by: Jason | Apr 23, 2013 10:00:53 PM


  17. I moved to Oklahoma in 2005 after growing up in the Northeast and living in California during my 20s. I've never experienced any kind of violence, thankfully, but this state SUCKS. Most of the people are two-faced, the weather is horrible, the land is ugly. I wish I could move, but gotta earn the Almighty Dollar, and there aren't a ton of jobs in my field out there. After 8 years, I feel my sexuality fading out, leaving an asexual shell.

    Posted by: guest | Apr 24, 2013 1:10:21 AM


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