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Starfleet Marriage Regulations


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The Celtic tradition of handfasting follows that concept. A couple were handfasted for a year and a day and at the end of that time they were either married or, providing there had been no children, could choose to go their seperate ways. I think it's very sensible.

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I think it's a way to have marriage without the responsibility, love as a verb, and oneness that is supposed to come along with it. Unfortunately. Call me old-fashioned. Thank you. laugh.png

Edited by Sakorra Jefferson Reed
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The Celtic tradition of handfasting follows that concept. A couple were handfasted for a year and a day and at the end of that time they were either married or, providing there had been no children, could choose to go their seperate ways. I think it's very sensible.

Could that work for a long weekend?

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Oops..I amswered before I read Toni's answer...I think Starfleet has the right idea. What if you ae assigned a deep space mission seperate from your spouse? That's asking a lot to expect fidelity for such a long period of time.

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Oops..I amswered before I read Toni's answer...I think Starfleet has the right idea. What if you ae assigned a deep space mission seperate from your spouse? That's asking a lot to expect fidelity for such a long period of time.

But isn't that exactly what your signing on to when you agree to marry anyone in a military service even in this day and age. I'm not saying being faithful would be easy in that situation but marriage isn't about convenience. Just another side note on this point, in the case of deep space missions wouldn't it be possible to have your spouse posted on the same ship as yourself. Just as you would take your family aboard with you depending on the ship and captain's preference.

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Oops..I amswered before I read Toni's answer...I think Starfleet has the right idea. What if you ae assigned a deep space mission seperate from your spouse? That's asking a lot to expect fidelity for such a long period of time.

But isn't that exactly what your signing on to when you agree to marry anyone in a military service even in this day and age. I'm not saying being faithful would be easy in that situation but marriage isn't about convenience. Just another side note on this point, in the case of deep space missions wouldn't it be possible to have your spouse posted on the same ship as yourself. Just as you would take your family aboard with you depending on the ship and captain's preference.

Gotta agree with you there, Arden. In sickness and in health. In good times and in bad. But yes, you should be able to request assignments together and be assigned as long as there are positions to fill that fit both members. When you get married, you are making a covenant and effectively binding yourself to that other person. It's not something that you should be able to end easily or that you should want to end easily, in my opinion. I had a couple of friends in the military together who were married, and they served together and were transferred together, as well.

Edited by Sakorra Jefferson Reed
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Oops..I amswered before I read Toni's answer...I think Starfleet has the right idea. What if you ae assigned a deep space mission seperate from your spouse? That's asking a lot to expect fidelity for such a long period of time.

But isn't that exactly what your signing on to when you agree to marry anyone in a military service even in this day and age. I'm not saying being faithful would be easy in that situation but marriage isn't about convenience. Just another side note on this point, in the case of deep space missions wouldn't it be possible to have your spouse posted on the same ship as yourself. Just as you would take your family aboard with you depending on the ship and captain's preference.

Gotta agree with you there, Arden. In sickness and in health. In good times and in bad. But yes, you should be able to request assignments together and be assigned as long as there are positions to fill that fit both members. When you get married, you are making a covenant and effectively binding yourself to that other person. It's not something that you should be able to end easily or that you should want to end easily, in my opinion. I had a couple of friends in the military together who were married, and they served together and were transferred together, as well.

All of you are right. Perhaps I'm just a space hound...i also have had family members serve together, but in their case they could not serve together. Marriage is a covenant and I hope it continues..but working out the details is the tricky part.

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Ok this may be a slightly stupid question but who do these regulations apply to? Is it only between two star fleet officers serving together or an officer and a civilian?

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I suppose they would apply to either, that is if both parties agreed to such a farce.

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I personally fail to see how marriage is the organisation's business, save in that hopefully they would post married couples together. Now if they were Federation Marriage Regulations, that might be different, and they would be a lot more open and allow for cultural variation, I think.

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I think, if you wanted to develop something like this for our time, you should probably start from scratch. There is so much here that makes me stop and shake my head, though I totally believe it's cool that someone thought to write it up and sell it at a convention. Back in the golden age of conventions before we had the internet en force, we actually had to gather in one physical area to share our crazy love of Star Trek... laugh.png

Fascinating. Presumably the medical tests are to ensure that a) neither have any STDs or in the case of cross-species marriages are likely to cause each other physical damage during sexual intercourse and that any children resulting from the union would be healthy.

I am going out on a limb here, but I'm going to guess that most, if not all STDs, like headaches, don't exist anymore at this point in the future...

I think you're underestimating the variety and versatile nature of diseases. Some viruses and bacteria can survive and adapt where more complex organisms would die off. (Remember that it took the Medical technology of the Federation until the middle of the twenty-fourth century to cure the common cold.) As always, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Inoculation against common diseases would be standard operating procedure, but the side-effects of attempting to prevent every encountered germ in the galaxy would probably leave the patient a weakened pincushion. So it would make sense to require Medical exams prior to any ...exceptional personal interaction two people planned to engage in. Some people never even realize they are carrying a disease until symptoms appear or a doctor performs a routine test. Also there is a chance that an individual's body would naturally react to another person's chemistry as though they were a hostile infection. (Such as simple contact dermatitis.)

It is nice to believe that diseases no longer exist, but not realistic. A significant number of Starfleet missions are transporting medical supplies to colonies, and fighting plagues and epidemics. Just as international air travel has made the spread of disease more of a problem, interstellar travel and exploration would be significantly worse so far as spreading previously unknown germs. Not everyone routinely subjects themselves to the decontamination algorithms of Transporters. Also, the Transporter programming cannot be aware of every tiny germ possibly carried by (or infecting) every known species. There are always more unknowns than knowns. (A blanket "assume it is germ/contaminant" protocol would be impractical as well - for example, by strict definition Trill would be recognized as parasites, because many of the benefits they provide their host are unquantifiable.)

Instead of viewing the testing as unnecessary and intrusive, instead think of it as essential and just Starfleet's paternal way of making sure that the new couple "plays safe" and has the best possible chance of a consequence-free coupling. "Proper prior planning prevents [...]-poor performance."

Indeed. What's to stop two people/aliens from procreating without said contract or approval from the Chief Medical Officer. (Again, a reflection of the times in which it was written).

From my military experience, Starfleet could probably do quite a lot to anyone interfering with the crew's mission for selfish reasons. The United States' Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) goes above and beyond most civilian laws. (Again, another example: Adultery, while generally a quaint religious concept in civilian life, is well-defined and illegal under the UCMJ. Possible penalties include loss of rank and privileges.) The military rarely assumes individuals have the best of intentions. The top brass has to look out for the greater good at every turn.

Any possible consequences would likely be at the Captain's discretion until the vessel returned to base. (I would imagine unapproved procreation would put both officers on mandatory leave until they were granted a review (if they were lucky enough to be granted one). Even then, it is probably common for one or both parents to be discharged to care for the offspring unless more suitable permanent arrangements can be made.

Yes you make a couple of good points Saveron. These regulations do seem very human-centric. I would imagine that at the time this was written humans made the bulk of Star Fleet officers etc. If we were to update it, I would think that medical concerns (more specifically regarding genetic deficiencies) would be less of a concern based on current medical technology.

That's what I was thinking too...so if you updated it, we would almost have to lose all the medical testing and so on. Are genetic issues widespread enough to even worry about in the Trek future? Wouldn't the most that it would require is a look over of medical records to determine anything?

Anyways, I think, if you wanted to tackle this, it might be interesting to have - but it might be easier to just start from a blank page and go from their rather than try to rework this particular list. Cool find though. It's very interesting to see how Trek has changed with the times around it, and perhaps, how we have changed because of Trek? wink.png

So far as I am aware, a physical and psych eval are still standard procedure when an officer undergoes a life change. (Such a being assigned to a new vessel or leaving service.) Marriage would certainly qualify. As far as realism is concerned, medical testing would be a constant. The genetic issues are a bit creepy, but not unreasonable. Starfleet Medical probably has an entire department of eugenics (not just to prevent possible genetic defects, but also to prevent any theoretical "natural" super-breeding program; Terrans would definitely want to prevent a second Eugenics War at any cost, even if the screening seemed intrusive.) If the possibility of breeding requires genetic sequencing/investigation, this seems to imply that genetic records are not standard or mandatory (likely also to prevent any intentional "breeding programs" for the creation of super-humans /-hybrids).

From what I have seen, Starbase 118 might fall under scrutiny from Starfleet's Dept of Eugenics very soon -- our fleet seems to have quite a few hybrids whom have inherited the best of both parents without many (if any) defects of either!

The atmosphere of Star Trek (and certainly the 70s-spawned TOS) was very pro-love and breaking down boundaries of prejudice, but all of the freedom was within a military framework which protected and propagated it.

The one glaring flaw of the (accusedly Terran-centric) Regulation 1902 is in its very name: "Marriage". Casual intercourse in Star Trek seems common (and only more common in chronologically later series). So why would there be marriage regulations when "hooking up" is so easy and prevalent? In the context of the regulation itself, it seems that "marriage" is a convenient term for a sexual contract. The intent of Reg 1902 seems to be consciously governing intercourse regarding procreation (whether specifically intentional or "letting nature take its course).

I believe interpreting Starfleet Marriage Regulations as having any but vestigial religious significance is a mistake. Clearly chapter 1902 is intended to provide a reliable framework for conscientious social contracts (even to the point of recommending a 1-year "trial" before any extended commitment) regarding sexual and social coupling. Also, as with most laws, the regs cover Starfleet's butt. If a captain does not want certain individuals fraternizing, it is not them being a jerk or racist - the couple just need to fill out more forms and submit to routine tests. Take a cold shower until the results get back!

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Also, this is a good time to plug the excellent Voyager episode "Someone to Watch Over Me". In it, Seven of Nine explores the nature of romantic intent with her usual clinical precision.

http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Love_Amid_the_Stars:_A_Romantic_Bestiary

I thought that the Doctor went through so much trouble for a single, curious member of the crew was very touching. Clearly the educational course was tailored to the former Borg. (Also, note that in the episode lessons 4, 5, 7, 9, 12-21, and 24-35 are not depicted in the on-screen narrative. One is free to imagine what interesting wrinkles of romantic interaction the omitted lessons covered.)

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Ok this may be a slightly stupid question but who do these regulations apply to? Is it only between two star fleet officers serving together or an officer and a civilian?

Officers are expected to adhere to a code of conduct and maintain certain professional standards at all times, even off-duty. Anything with an officer involved (even if the other half was civilian, energy-being, or what-have-you) falls under Starfleet's jurisdiction. Of course, the 'Fleet could not directly punish or regulate a civilian, but the officer would likely be held responsible for both their and the civilian's half of the ..union.

Cain, if you are not a veteran or a service brat, you are excused from not knowing the following: Whether enlisting or being commissioned, you sign away your life. The price of exploring the cosmos and spreading freedom and self-determination is that the "enforcers" (Starfleet) suspend many of their own freedoms. (Of course, I needlessly point out that many of our commanding officers are not strict "by the book" types.)

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  • 2 months later...

Two things strike me. One is that the one year trial marriage contract is actually one of the forms of marriage in ancient Ireland around the 1100s!

The other is that for humans the only option is a standard military wedding, but for aliens, they may have a wedding consistent with their culture. It seems to presume that all humans have a homogenous culure. It is similar to the time spent on alien spirituality and religions but none given to human religion and spirituality.

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The other is that for humans the only option is a standard military wedding, but for aliens, they may have a wedding consistent with their culture. It seems to presume that all humans have a homogenous culure. It is similar to the time spent on alien spirituality and religions but none given to human religion and spirituality.

I think a big reason for that is due to the time in which this was written. It was a pretty big task to try to incorporate the idea of true religious freedom without alienating the viewers and fans in these times who still held to traditions that we see fading today. The idea of women on the bridge, multi-national crews, and a society where all were equal was a big enough chunk to bite off without attempting to take on religion. So, I see the writers simply throwing out religious implications related to humans and making their statement of equality by saying alien religious beliefs should be respected and followed.

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It would seem that a program visionary enough to have the first inter-racial kiss on American television (Kirk and Uhura) could simply have incorporated some of the religions common to human kind espcially as it was produced in a country that has a history or religious diversity and freedom. Still, no one creative endeavor can hit all the bases.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The other is that for humans the only option is a standard military wedding, but for aliens, they may have a wedding consistent with their culture. It seems to presume that all humans have a homogenous culure. It is similar to the time spent on alien spirituality and religions but none given to human religion and spirituality.

I think a big reason for that is due to the time in which this was written. It was a pretty big task to try to incorporate the idea of true religious freedom without alienating the viewers and fans in these times who still held to traditions that we see fading today. The idea of women on the bridge, multi-national crews, and a society where all were equal was a big enough chunk to bite off without attempting to take on religion. So, I see the writers simply throwing out religious implications related to humans and making their statement of equality by saying alien religious beliefs should be respected and followed.

Didn't Gene Roddenberry also state that he wanted Religion to be kept out of Star Trek, to prevent any kind of controversy in that area and also because, as a Atheist, he believed that by that time Religion would have become non-important?

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I don't know about that, but the fact is that Star Trek is full of religion, just not Earth religions. Almost all of the major alien races have religions which are treated respectfully for the most part.

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Thinking about it, it only really applies to the original series anyway which was mostly devoid of religion (makes sense it was the 50s). Most mentions or religion are TNG or later.

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Even today, religion is a hot topic. I live in the deep south and I can say that even the mention of things like 'Godzilla' are shunned (because it has the word God in it). I'd wager to say that despite wanting to portray total equality across the board, there were still some major limitations well past the original series and into TNG and beyond.

I actually wrote up a Writer's Workshop article about this occurrence not too long ago. If anyone's interested, you can find it here: http://www.starbase118.net/blog/2012/03/29/reality-buried-deep-within-science-fiction/

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I can quite imagine, I can still remember being shocked at how hard the station monitored that one interracial kiss scene! Of course, I read about this in 2010, so maybe its more a good thing than a bad thing that this shocked me, but I can imagine that the issue of religion would have been treated even more... Where I'm from religion plays very little in our lives, so I always seem to forget that these limitations still exist...

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