Rutledge didn't outline what the case was about in announcing her decision to join other right-wing Republican attorneys general in fighting to protect employment discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The case, titled Horton v. Midwest Geriatric Management, LLC, was brought by Mark Horton, who was offered a job as Vice President of Sales and Marketing, only to have the offer withdrawn after the company learned he had a same-sex partner. A U.S. district court in Missouri dismissed his Title VII claim based on a case from the 1980s stating that Title VII does not protect lesbian, gay, and bisexual people from discrimination. Horton is represented by Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Within the past year, two federal courts of appeals, the New York-based Second Circuit and the Chicago-based Seventh Circuit, have overruled their previous precedent barring lesbian and gay people who experience workplace discrimination from bringing claims under Title VII. A favorable decision by the Eighth Circuit would extend federal sexual orientation nondiscrimination protections to workers in Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota, joining workers in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, who already enjoy those protections because of the recent decisions.