Tea Party Members Back Dismissed President

Tea party members back dismissed president

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Several members of a Montana tea party group have resigned after the association's president was dismissed over an exchange on Facebook that appeared to condone violence against gays.

The party issued a statement over the weekend saying the board voted to kick president Tim Ravndal out of the party.

During a Big Sky Tea Party Association meeting Tuesday, board member Tom Baird called the decision a "knee-jerk reaction" and said he was resigning. The Independent Record reports the group's secretary she would also resign, and several association members called for a new board.

The dispute stems from a Facebook conversation on Ravndal's page that alludes to the 1998 of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard, who was murdered because he was gay.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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