The Montana Tea Party has dumped its president and booted him from the party over an anti-gay Facebook post.

The board of the Big Sky Tea Party Association voted Sunday to removed Tim Ravndal as its president, the Independent Record reported.

The board said it scheduled an emergency meeting as soon as it learned about an online exchange between Ravndal, Keith Baker and Dennis Scranton that implied Ravndal supports violence against gay men and lesbians.

In the conversation, which was prompted by Ravndal's posting of a Billings Gazette article about a Montana gay marriage lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the men make reference to the 1998 murder of University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard, who was beaten and left to die shackled to a post along a rural road near Laramie because he was gay.

Ravndal says he objects to gay marriage because it's a “violation of the constitution and my own rights.”

“How dare you exercise your First Amendment Rights?” Baker replies.

Scranton adds that “fruits” are decorative and to call “Wyoming for display instructions.”

Ravndal then asks the men, “Where can I get that Wyoming printed instruction manual?”

Scranton directs Ravndal to the Gazette archives and suggests going “back a bit over ten years.”

While the July 23 exchange has since been removed from the social network, the paper obtained a photo of the page displaying the comments.

Ravndal commented on the controversy on his Facebook page: “In sharing news about the ACLU suing Montana on the gay marriage issue, I made a mistake and commented on a post that implied that I condone violence against another human being. Nothing could be farther [sic] from the truth. Those that know me understand and that is all that matters!”

But there were few supportive comments to be found in the 283 responses to the post.

“Gee, Tim, it's getting to where a guy can't casually joke about the brutal murder of a gay person without people thinking that you find the murder of gay people funny,” wrote one commenter.

“I think you represent exactly what the Tea Party is about,” said another. “Racist, bigoted gay-hating faux patriots.”