Openly gay former public official attacked outside Oklahoma City bar by man who used anti-gay slurs

BY BRYAN DEAN bdean@opubco.com Published: April 20, 2013
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He also had red marks on his face.

Roth said he fought off his attackers, and they fled.

Police said they still are investigating the case.

The name of at least one of the accused men was given to police by the bar's staff, according to the police report.

Roth's response

Both Roth and Seal said they had hoped the incident wouldn't become a news story.

“I don't think the actions of one bigot represent the attitude or feelings of all Oklahomans,” Roth said.

“I personally have met hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans through my time in public service. I've certainly met some who were closed-minded. But the great majority of people I have met are kindhearted and open-minded.”

Roth said he would hate for the incident to tarnish the reputation of Grandad's. He and Seal, along with Seal's wife, Jennifer, have been friends for 15 years and attend the same church, Roth said.

“I think the world of them,” Roth said.

“They are building a good establishment. There just happened to be a couple of bad apples.”

Greg Seal said he didn't place the ad to promote his business. The bar's website describes it as a tribute to Seal's two grandfathers, who were role models to him who treated others with respect and acceptance.

Seal said the attack on Roth went against everything his grandfathers stood for.

“I put a lot of effort into this bar and into maintaining the spirit for which it was intended,” he said. “The impetus for the letter was to remind people that's what we're doing here.”

Seal said the response he's gotten from customers and on social media has been stunning.

He said it encourages him that most people agree with the spirit of the bar's inclusive and friendly atmosphere, and he hopes nothing like this will happen again.


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