Bill Johnson is a Republican Christian politician who was a former Birmingham City councilman and director of Alabama’s Department of Economic and Community Affairs until he resigned to run for governor. That wasn’t his first run – he ran for the U.S. Senate in Missouri as a Libertarian, campaigning to legalize marijuana and prostitution – views he’s since renounced since he became a Republican. Still, he’s got this odd streak of idealism that has made it difficult for him to fit into the GOP stable – after he fell out with Republican Gov. Bob Riley by asking the state attorney general and the Montgomery County DA to investigate his former boss for conflict of interest, he was banned by the GOP from appearing before the executive committee in Prattsville, his home county, or speaking at any other event the committee sponsors.
But it’s his latest brush with altruism, albeit somewhat peculiar, that’s landed him in hot water once again. Bill Johnson has spent most of the past year in Christchurch as a long-term recovery manager for Ceres NZ, helping the earthquake recovery, which is very nice of him. But his selflessness didn’t stop at helping New Zealanders rebuilt their ruined city. On his off-hours, he’s been surfing the net for women who want to get pregnant and donating his sperm, including to lesbian couples – despite his public campaign against gay marriage. At least nine women have been recipients of his genetic philanthropy, three of whom are now pregnant, and there’s a line of ladies on his waiting list. On the one hand, the mothers might be happy that the donor went through college on a full scholarship, has a Bachelor’s in chemistry, graduated cum laude and is a member of Mensa. On the other, for a smart guy, he’s been really stupid – while he was being so noble and gallant, he neglected to tell his wife, former Miss America finalist Kathy Johnson, what he was up to while he’s been "helping" New Zealanders.
Beyond the WTF factor making this just another incredibly bizarre activity by a Republican politician (at least he’s original!), there’s a more serious concern. New Zealand is a very small country, with around 4.5 million people, about half the number of people who live in New York City. It’s an idiom here that if you’re not related to someone in New Zealand, you're probably best mates with someone who is. With such a small population, Bill Johnson’s ad hoc mobile sperm bank has the NZ fertility medicine community concerned. Fertility clinic regulations recommend that no one man donates sperm to more than four families, to reduce the chance of accidental incest, as well as any adverse impact on donors and children if they seek each other out later in life, which New Zealand law allows.