Conservative Christian Politician is Secret Sperm Donor to Lesbian Couples

Bill and Kathy Johnson, before he went to New Zealand. What would you do if you found out your husband had donated sperm without telling you? (Photo from Billjohnson.org)Bill and Kathy Johnson, before he went to New Zealand. What would you do if you found out your husband had donated …The Bill Johnson that people back home knew was a conservative Christian politician, a beloved husband and stepfather, a high-ranking Alabama government official with an eye for economic development who was working with a disaster-relief company in Christchurch, New Zealand.

People in Christchurch, however, knew him as "chchbill," a very willing sperm donor who didn't wear a wedding ring and said his current relationship "wasn't an issue." Of the nine women the former anti-gay-marriage politician has helped, at least three are pregnant -- including a lesbian couple, The New Zealand Herald reported. And until last weekend, his wife had no idea.

While the Christchurch mothers-to-be call his donations "a Godsend," his wife of nearly eight years calls them "the utmost of betrayal," "irresponsible" and "selfish."

"I am heartbroken that nearly eight years into a wonderful marriage, he has chosen to turn to other women to provide what I can't," Kathy Johnson told the Herald. "I didn't know about these women. I wonder if they knew about me. I wonder if they knew he has a wife back home who cherishes our marriage, and three children who look up to and respect him as a dad, and a new grandson."

She found out about the nine other women and three pregnancies when the Herald called her for comment on a story. New Zealand law prohibits sperm donors from donating to more than four families in order to prevent "super-dads" who have as many as 70 (or more) donor children, leading to concerns about genetic diseases and inadvertent incest.

In June, the couple had discussed Johnson's desire to donate sperm, and he even flew back to the U.S. so they could seek counseling about it, the newspaper reported. His wife was strongly against the idea, and told the Herald that he flew back to New Zealand after having made "a commitment to me to let it go."

But Johnson told The Herald that while loves his three stepchildren, after holding his newborn grandson the desire to become a biological father was too strong. It's "a need that I have," he said. "Reproduction and having children is as basic a human need as eating."

"I am married to the most beautiful woman in the world," he said in an interview. "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."

Even so, he hadn't told his wife about the other women's pregnancies, or the fact that he is financially supporting the pregnant women. The pregnant women also, for the most part, didn't know about one another. He told the newspaper that he was planning to tell everyone about everything after the children were born, and he had hoped to move his American family to Christchurch so that he could have a role in his donor children's lives. But his wife doesn't seem too keen on the idea.

"I have no idea what life holds for us in the coming days," Kathy Johnson told the Herald. "Can we make it through what I feel is the utmost of betrayal? I don't know. It will take God healing our hearts."




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