A profile maker has signed on to a lawsuit seeking to uphold a Pennsylvania law against same-sex marriages.
For Bob Sweet, president and chief executive officer of Creative Pultrusions Inc., it's a moral issue. Sweet is a board member of the Pennsylvania Family Institute, a lobbying group whose mission is ``strengthening families by restoring to public life the traditional, foundational principles and values essential for the well-being of society.''
``I wouldn't have done it if it weren't something worth fighting,'' Sweet said in a May 27 telephone interview, referring to gay marriage. ``It will change marriage in the United States and Pennsylvania. If same-sex couples are allowed to marry, that changes marriage. If homosexual marriage is legal, it will be taught in the schools, and that's a moral issue, in my opinion.''
The issue went to court after two men, Robert Seneca and Stephen Stahl of New Hope, Pa., filed for a marriage license in Bucks County, Pa. When their application was rejected, the men said they would test the constitutionality of the Keystone State's Defense of Marriage Act and Marriage Law. The 1996 law forbids gay marriages.
In response, a group of 12 state legislators and Creative Pultrusions, based in Alum Bank, Pa., filed suit to have the law affirmed.
Lawyers for the legislators and Creative Pultrusions said they are seeking a declaratory judgment, a way to get the court to make a legal determination about the issue. For now, the group is waiting for a response to the May 14 filing.
Creative Pultrusions is involved because, in order to go before the court, the plaintiff's side has to have a party that is directly affected by a change in the marriage law.
According to court documents, Creative Pultrusions will be affected as a business because its benefits package will have to be greatly expanded ``by allowing a new class of individuals to marry each other if the marriage act and marriage law are found unconstitutional. As a taxpayer, it will be affected by additional state spending to give benefits to a new class of married individuals.''
``Corporate benefits, taxes that a corporation has to pay, are affected by the marriage law. Corporations are affected by the taxes. We were modeling it off of other cases,'' said Randall Wenger, a lawyer for the plaintiffs.
``Courts around the country have been hesitant to let interested parties intervene in cases,'' Wenger said. ``Once a case has been started, they've not been able to get into the case. What is the constitutionality of Pennsylvania's Defense of Marriage Act? We're seeking to confirm that.''