Mark Horton was offered a job as Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Midwest Geriatric Management, LLC, only to have the offer withdrawn after the company learned he had a same-sex partner.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 discrimination claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 based on a case from the 1980s stating that Title VII does not protect lesbian, gay, and bisexual people from discrimination.
On March 14, 2018, NCLR, along with GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of Mark Horton in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. The brief urges the Eighth Circuit to find that sexual orientation discrimination violates Title VII because it is a form of sex discrimination. It argues that earlier court decisions barring lesbian and gay people from bringing employment discrimination claims under Title VII have led to what the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals called a “confused hodge-podge of cases.” That exclusion has caused lower courts to reach inconsistent results and erected unique barriers to sex discrimination claims by lesbian, gay, and bisexual people that other employees do not face.
Mark Horton is represented by Lambda Legal.