Christian-right politician caught in lesbian sperm donation scandal


Bill Johnson, a 2009 conservative Christian candidate for governor of Alabama, has acknowledged making sperm donations to at least nine women, including lesbian couples.

According to the New Zealand Herald, the 52-year-old met the women on the Internet. The newspaper reported that three of the women are now pregnant.

One of the pregnant women, who is in a same-sex relationship, is quoted as saying, “We found Bill to be really nice. He’s a really supportive guy.”

Johnson’s wife Kathy, who is unable to have children after a hysterectomy 10, years ago, said she was unaware of her husband’s sperm donations. She declined to comment on the case, telling the Alabama Press-Register, “This is a really, really difficult time for our family. I’m still in disbelief and very hurt, and our family has a lot of healing to do.”

Johnson has spent much of the last year in Christchurch, New Zealand, helping relief efforts in the aftermath of a magnitude 6.3 earthquake that struck in February.

Johnson said he did not know that some of the women were lesbians but refused to answer whether that mattered to him. He said simply that his urge to become a biological father was “a need that I have.”

“Every person who is a father and a mother knows why I am doing this,” Johnson said. “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.”

Johnson later said he had filed a complaint with police about how the New Zealand Herald obtained the information. But the newspaper says it “did not and would not use information obtained from illegally intercepted communications.”

Fertility experts have raised concerns about the extent of Johnson’s donations. It is recommended that donors help no more than four families to avoid unintentional incest in future.