Relationships, Gender and Sexuality
In the vast realities of the Imperium, there are no laws and regulations upon sexuality, relationships and gender. Despite the fact that the sheer mass of human bodies is its greatest resource, the Imperium does not need to exhort humankind to produce more children through regulation – they do that themselves, be it through mixed-sex partnering, surrogate child bearers or technology. If the Imperium needs bodies, it turns not to the inefficiency of nature, but to arcane genetic technologies.
Gender is considered a matter of personal choice; gender transitions are unremarkable to Imperial citizens and occasionally, according to local customs, accompanied by a small celebration similar to coming of age ceremonies found throughout the Imperium. This is a straightforward and unremarkable change and perhaps one of the most trivial things to process through the Administratum. Even before paperwork is filled in, Military and Government structures quickly accept transition when it comes to addressing an individual by their chosen titles; an individual’s gender has no bearing on their ability to serve Him on Terra.
All sexualities are embraced within the Imperium. Imperial society’s attitudes are conservative about open discussion of sexual acts but it only discourages dangerous excess and hedonism amongst its citizens. Partnerships of any combination of genders and numbers of individuals raise few eyebrows from Imperial Citizens. There is no strict definition under Imperial law of what a relationship is – and so the Administratum recognises the legal status of any properly legally administered Unions, regardless of the individuals involved.
The reasons for any Union in the Imperium vary from planet to planet, and between classes.
Freed from concerns about natural heirs by wide enough access to artificial reproductive technology, the Imperial Nobility focus upon the combined standing of those involved when arranging a union. These are rarely arranged to accommodate romance, and you can find out more about the social protocols of the Imperial Nobility here.
In the lower tiers of the Imperium, where access to artificial technology is too expensive or, on more primitive worlds, simply unavailable, it is not uncommon or considered unusual for members of a union incapable of having children to use a surrogate; and there are always orphans of the Imperium’s infinite wars in need of parents. However unlike Nobles who are under a degree of pressure from their Houses to continue a lineage, there is little pressure on any individual to produce children; it is not the concern of society what an individual chooses in this regard.
It is one of the rare freedoms of the lower classes of Imperial society that one can choose to create a union out of love, or choose not to pursue one at all. The Imperium recognises a single benefit upon which a recognised Union is advantageous, which is claiming a Military Pension awarded to a deceased partner for service in the Imperial Guard and Imperial Navy. Even without a formal Union, it is simply harder to process forms through the Administratum to make a claim, not impossible.
Only Psykers, Abhumans and Mutants experience any kind of state control over their reproductive rights. The Imperium is obsessed with the genetic purity of humanity and actively forbids these poor individuals from partnering with ‘pure’ humans regardless of the desire of either individual involved. In the case of mutants whose very existence is largely considered an affront (and who are more often than not exterminated) breeding is expressly forbidden at all. For the ‘stable’ Abhumans and Psykers there is a requirement to apply for permission from the Imperial Government for permission to have children; in the case of Psykers relationships of any kind are discouraged, mostly due to Imperial fears of allowing them any form of unity.