Press Release

Appeals court weighs religious freedom for Catholic schools Catholic high school was sued for asking its teachers and leaders to support Catholic teaching

Media Contact

Ryan Colby 202-349-7219

Additional Information

WASHINGTON – The Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit will hear oral arguments in Starkey v. Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis on Monday, in a case that will decide whether Catholic schools can select leaders who fully support their religious mission. The former Co-Director of Guidance at Roncalli Catholic high school sued the Archdiocese after her contract was not renewed because she entered a same-sex union in violation of her contract and the school’s Catholic mission. A federal district court threw out the lawsuit, concluding that the constitution prohibits the government from forcing the Catholic Church to hire educators who reject Catholic teachings. The former guidance counselor has now appealed. 

Roncalli combines high-quality education with an emphasis on passing the Catholic faith on to each student. Out of respect for this obligation, schoolteachers, administrators, and guidance counselors at the school sign agreements to uphold the Catholic Church’s beliefs in their personal and professional lives. When Lynn Starkey told Roncalli leadership that she had broken that agreement by entering a same-sex marriage, the school declined to renew her contract due to her rejection of Catholic teaching. 

Becket is defending the Archdiocese and asking the Seventh Circuit to protect the freedom of religious institutions to choose leaders who fully support their religious mission.  

Oral Argument in Starkey v. Roncalli High School and Archdiocese of Indianapolis 

Luke Goodrich, vice president and senior counsel at Becket  

Monday, May 16, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. ET  
A press call will be held after the hearing at approximately 1:00 p.m. ET 

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
219 S. Dearborn Street
Chicago, Illinois 60604 

Press Call Information:
Dial 312-626-6799 (Meeting ID: 849 8489 2727) or
Email with questions 

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Ryan Colby atmedia@becketlaw.orgor 202-349-7219.Interviews can be arranged in English, Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.