Kristi Allen-Gailushas, secretary of the Big Sky Tea Party Association and Republican nominee for a Helena-area legislative seat, is quitting the group following its removal of president Tim Ravndal for anti-gay comments made on his Facebook page.
"They didn't even listen to Tim and what he had to say," she said. "They were just worried about the [Montana] Human Rights Network and the ACLU and what they were going to say."
The Montana Human Rights Network advocates for gay rights and had called for Ravndal's removal.
Ravndal was ejected from the group Sunday after a post on his Facebook page appeared to make light of the 1998 murder of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard -- a killing that has remained a symbol of anti-gay violence.
Allen-Gailushas said Ravndal wasn't even referring to the Shepard case, and that his comments were taken out of context.
She said she would submit her resignation from the association at Tuesday night's meeting.
She may have also been heading for trouble with the group’s board, following the revelation of one of her own Facebook postings that takes aim at gay people.
The Independent Record obtained an image of her Facebook page with her posting, "The Gay community wants a war…they've got one!!"
Association board member Roger Nummerdor said Allen-Gailushas had sent an e-mail to board members expressing her displeasure with the treatment of Ravndal. He declined to specifically address her Facebook posting, but said before hearing of her planned resignation that the that board would probably discuss the matter.
Allen-Gailushas is the Republican nominee in House District 82, which includes the western part of Helena on up to the Continental Divide, against incumbent Democrat Mike Menahan. She said she has not received any help from the state party.
On Aug. 20, she filed a lawsuit to block the Helena School District's proposed health enhancement curriculum, appearing with Ravndal when she made the announcement.