Montana Tea Party President Removed for Facebook Remarks Condoning Violence Against Gay People


Last week I posted a screenshot of a Faceboook conversation in which Tim Ravndal, the President of Montana's Big Sky Tea Party condoned violence against gay people. The remarks came in a post in which Ravndal expressed his views that marriage should be between a man and a woman. The post was in response to an ACLU lawsuit in Montana brought by seven gay couples who want to get married.

Ravndal Then Ravndal expressed support for a commenter who (in apparent reference to the Matthew Shepard murder) said, "I think fruits are decorative. Hang up where they can be seen and appreciated. Call Wyoming for display instructions."

Answered Ravndal: "Where can I get that Wyoming printed instruction manual?"

Helena's Independent Record reports that Ravndal has been removed from his position and the party:

"Jim Walker, chairman of the Big Sky Tea Party Association board and an early founder of the anti-big- government group locally, said in a release that as soon as the board learned of Ravndal’s inflammatory comment, they called an emergency meeting to address the situation."

Said Walker: “We are extremely disappointed by Mr. Ravndal’s commentary. The discussion in that Facebook conversation is entirely outside the position of the Big Sky Tea Party. Even though Mr. Ravndal was having a personal conversation and made no reference to our group, we felt strongly that swift and decisive action was required as we cannot accept that sort of behavior from within our membership, let alone from an officer of the corporation. “We continually make it known that we will not tolerate bigoted dialog, behavior or messages at our functions, our meetings or within our ranks. If a person demonstrates bigotry relative to race, sex, ethnicity, etc. they are not welcome in our organization. The Tea Party movement is about standing up for individual freedom for everyone.”

Continued Walker: “I do believe Mr. Ravndal when he explained that he was in no way intending to promote violence and that he was not thinking about nor condoning the murder of an innocent victim in Wyoming in 1998 when he responded to some very disturbing comments made by another individual. However, no matter how we considered the commentary, it was clear to us that he was participating in conversation which was overtly bigoted and we cannot have an officer of our corporation engaging in such behavior.”

(image mediaite)


  1. TampaZeke says

    What privacy issue? Facebook, by design, is a public forum and is not private; not even Facebook pages that are restricted to “friends only” would be covered by “privacy” guidelines. Something tells me that this asshat’s Facebook page was not “friends only” which makes the privacy question even more moot.

  2. stephen says

    People mock and dismiss the Tea-baggers at their own peril… they’re smart enough to stick to their “we’re about low taxes” mantra, but if they are successfully elected they are certainly going to be among the MOST conservative reps…

    We’re becoming a nation of outraged idiots, but when they show up & vote, they’ll be in a position to shape of nation for decades to come. Every election matters.

  3. topher says

    “a violation of my rights” — wtf is wrong with these people’s brains? it’s so discouraging that these people have a voice and that people actually listen to them — and so far, it’s them who’ve got the upper hand until there’s full civil rights equality.

    god, imagine these assholes back a century ago saying that it was a violation of their rights to allow blacks to marry whites, or to even consider giving up their black slaves! what a violation of their rights!

  4. Bruno says

    “bigotry relative to race, sex, ethnicity, etc.”

    We can’t talk about it specifically, but we’ll use it as an excuse to get rid of this guy we probably don’t like for other reasons.

  5. derrysf says

    Perhaps when the last remaining handful of tigers and rhinos has finally and inevitably been exterminated to satisfy the demands of traditional Asian folk remedies for sexual dysfunction, we might all revisit this discussion. I had thought maybe that the best chance these species had for survival was the availability of cheap Viagra.

    That said, what is uncivilised is not the Chinese, but the unchallenged survival of a counterproductive cultural mythology no longer valid in the 21st century.

  6. Greg says

    Leon Litwack, “Trouble In Mind”. We’re in the lynching years. Do your research. Use their hate against them. Arm and defend yourself. Take self-defense classes. Learn how to use a gun. Learn concealed weapons laws in your state. Don’t stand for this violence – either in speech or behavior.

    We need to think like Malcolm, to defend ourselves and not let anyone lay their hands on us for any reason at any time. By any means necessary.

  7. CRG says

    It’s not just Montana. I live in an urban area known for it’s progressive attitudes. Attitudes along the lines of “live & let live”, including a large ‘glbt..uvxyz’ community. We are surrounded by what used to be just right wing republicans…but now? We are surrounded by people who are being told it’s ok to hate anyone who is not:


    These are not just interesting times we live in, they may be the ‘end of times’, but not for the reasons the thumpers think. I suspect there’s a revolution coming & it won’t be pretty. Once the teabaggers gain power the hispanic/black/gay/disgusted will all be on the same page:

    Destroy those who would destroy us. Period. (Like I said, it won’t be pretty…)

    Thankfully Canada has implied that they may consider ‘non-heterosexuals’ asylum if this form of prejudice increases. That’s good news, if it happens (w/Canadians humanistic p.o.v. it probably will…)

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