The president of Montana’s Big Sky Tea Party Association has been ousted after joking with a “friend” on Facebook about hanging gays and replicating the beating and murder University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard. Tim Ravndal has apologized for the exchange, but the group has removed him.
The exchange occurred on July 23 and was later removed. However, a screenshot was saved. In the exchange, Ravndal posts the statement that “Marriage is between a man and a woman period! By giving rights to those otherwise would be a violation of the Constitution and my own rights.” A Facebook user then adds “I think fruits are decorative. Hang up where they can be seen and appreciated. Call Wyoming for display instructions.” Ravndal responds by asking: “Where can I get that Wyoming printed instruction manual?”
The statement appears an obvious reference to the 1998 killing of Shepard who was beaten and tied to a fence post.
Facebook has become a fascinating vehicle to expose the worst motivations or views of individuals, including celebrities and politicians who are highly controlled in other venues.