US Senate passes legislation disrespecting marriage, endangering religious freedom
The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives Ryan Bangert regarding the U.S. Senate’s passage Tuesday of the deceptively named “Respect for Marriage Act,” a bill that does far more than enshrine same-sex marriage into federal law by intentionally jeopardizing the religious freedom of millions of Americans who have sincerely held beliefs about marriage:
“This dangerously cynical and completely unnecessary bill is a direct attack on the First Amendment. It does nothing to change the legal status of same-sex marriage anywhere. But it undermines religious freedom everywhere and exposes Americans throughout the country to predatory lawsuits by activists seeking to use the threat of litigation to silence debate and exclude people of faith from the public square. Today, the Senate has chosen to disregard legitimate concerns about the undeniable harms of this bill. If the Senate truly cared about protecting religious freedom, it would have included comprehensive amendments proposed by Sens. Lee, Rubio, and Lankford. ADF remains committed to ensuring the First Amendment protects the rights of all Americans and to defending those who will likely be targeted because of this legislation.”
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.
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Ryan Bangert serves as senior vice president for strategic initiatives and special counsel to the president at Alliance Defending Freedom. He oversees ADF's regulatory practice, government relations, and corporate engagement teams. He also advises executive leadership with strategic initiatives and appears as counsel for ADF clients. Before joining ADF, Bangert served as deputy for legal counsel and deputy first assistant attorney general in the office of the Texas attorney general. In those roles, he oversaw the state’s Special Litigation Unit, which handled critical litigation against the federal government, and oversaw multiple divisions within the office. Bangert also served as deputy for civil litigation for Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, overseeing the state’s civil litigation portfolio and over 200 attorneys and staff. Prior to his government service, Bangert was a litigation partner at Baker Botts L.L.P. He earned his B.A. from Oral Roberts University, and his J.D. from Southern Methodist University, where he graduated first in his class. He participated in the Blackstone Legal Fellowship program in 2002. Following law school, he clerked for Judge Patrick Higginbotham on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. Bangert is an active member of the Texas Bar and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court and various federal trial courts and courts of appeal.