Allow me to tempt the fates by pronouncing that this has to be the weirdest story you’ll read all week. All month. Maybe all year — even in an election year. A guy who ran for the Republican nomination to be governor of Alabama on a religious right, anti-gay platform has been donating sperm to several lesbian women in New Zealand — without telling his wife.
A conservative Christian politician has a secret life as a sperm donor for lesbian couples – even though he has campaigned against gay marriage.
American politician Bill Johnson has spent most of this year in Christchurch helping run the earthquake recovery, all the while using the online persona “chchbill” to meet women who want help to get pregnant.
Under that persona, he has discussed making donations to at least nine women without the knowledge of his family in the US.
Three of the women are now pregnant, and Johnson has assisted another three with donations in the past month. It is believed he has been in communication with at least another three women to discuss sperm donation.
Several of the women are in same-sex relationships. And he explains why he did it:
The Herald on Sunday approached Johnson on Thursday at a restaurant in Christchurch where he had just finished dining with one of the women he had successfully impregnated.
He said the urge to become a biological father was “a need that I have”.
“I am married to the most beautiful woman in the world. When I married her I knew we couldn’t have any more children. She had a hysterectomy 10 years ago.
“There is nothing my wife would want to give me more in the world than a child of my own.” …
Asked if his wife knew he was donating sperm, he said: “She does now.”
He said she did not know of any of the pregnancies. He said he had not planned on telling her until the children were born.
“Every person who is a father and a mother knows why I am doing this. If life’s circumstances had dealt me a different hand I wouldn’t be doing this. It is not the hand that life has dealt my wife.
“Reproduction and having children is as basic a human need as eating.”
His wife seems to disagree:
“This is a really, really difficult time for our family,” Kathy Johnson said in an email to the Press-Register. “I’m still in disbelief and very hurt, and our family has a lot of healing to do.”
This should end well.