Catholic Lobby Responds to Fulton vs. Philadelphia Supreme Court Decision

For Immediate Release: June 17, 2021

Contact: Colleen Ross,, 202-601-7877

Catholic Lobby Responds toFulton vs. Philadelphia Supreme Court Decision

Mary J. Novak: “The Supreme Court’s narrow decision is a relief.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Supreme Court’s narrow ruling in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia is a relief as it does not establish a general right for religious organizations to violate non-discrimination laws, but instead leaves the broader principle that governments can require contractors, including religious agencies, to comply with nondiscrimination laws intact. The Catholic Sisters and advocates of NETWORK are relieved about this opinion, which does not have implications beyond this specific case.

NETWORK members will continue to educate, organize, and lobby to ensure all who are created in God’s image are treated with equal dignity under the law.

Mary J. Novak, Executive Director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice said:

“The Supreme Court’s narrow decision is a relief, but there is still more work to be done. Discrimination harms children, especially Black and Latinx children, by maintaining a smaller pool of families looking to adopt. Every person deserves to live with dignity regardless of who they are or who they love. Discrimination should have no home in our communities.

“My Catholic faith holds that family is sacred. Denying our LGBTQ+ neighbors, friends, and family members the ability to build loving families with children in our foster care system is unjust. NETWORK calls on Congress to listen to an overwhelming majority of voters, including people of faith, and pass the John Lewis Every Child Deserves a Family Act to protect the overwhelming number of LGBTQ+ children and children of color who currently reside in our foster care systems.”


NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice – advocates for justice inspired by Catholic Sisters – educates, organizes, and lobbies for economic and social transformation. They have a nearly 50-year track record of lobbying for critical federal programs that support those at the margins and prioritize the common good.