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john65pennington's avatar

How legal would an "outer space marriage" be?

Asked by john65pennington (29235points) April 12th, 2011

Sooner or later man will set up life on another planet. I will not be here to observe this, but inquisitive man will find a way to extend the earth’s bounty to another planet. And, this will include marriages. Question: would an outer space marriage even be legal or would living together really have more meaning on another planet? Would new outer space laws be needed and who would enforce them?

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6 Answers

ucme's avatar

I don’t know, but there’d definitely be one hell of an atmosphere at that wedding.

marinelife's avatar

A colony administration and police force would be part of any colonization effort. The colony would be part of some Earth entity and so would be governed by laws. Marriage would be legal.

yankeetooter's avatar

Wouldn’t the captain of the “space ship” be able to perform said marriage? (much as ship captains do…)

wundayatta's avatar

Depends on what the aliens have to say about it.

JLeslie's avatar

I agree with @yankeetooter. I am pretty sure Captain Piccard married people on his ship.

SavoirFaire's avatar

It’s all a matter of who you want to recognize your marriage. Different countries have different rules and allow different people to conduct marriage ceremonies. Many government officials, for instance, are only certified to perform marriage ceremonies within the area that their other powers are valid. A county judge, for instance, cannot perform a marriage ceremony in any other county but his or her own. A Catholic priest, on the other hand, can perform a marriage anywhere in the universe and have it recognized by the Church (though not necessarily by any particular state). Insofar as the question asks about legally binding marriages, however, it seems that new laws would be needed to accommodate the changes space travel brings along with it.

@yankeetooter Ship captains aren’t automatically certified to perform marriages. That’s one of those pervasive cultural myths.

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