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Lets be honest, the producers and writers of the shows reflect the general homophobic culture of America. I'm not stating that anyone associated with the show is necessarily prejudiced (indeed, Jonathon Frakes often had discussions with the writers and producers of TNG, asking the same question you asked!), but they knew that the networks would never allow openly gay characters, or even characters where there was even the possibility that they were gay - the right wing religious types would have gone nuts, almost certainly kicked up a s**t storm, and the shows would have been axed a lot sooner!

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