A UK man has successfully sued a fertility clinic after finding out that his sperm was used to help LGBTQ couples have children.
The donor, Neil Gaskell, was awarded a settlement by the IVF clinic to which he donated, Care Fertility in Manchester, where he and his wife also received IVF treatment before he became a donor.
Gaskell filed the suit on the basis that he agreed to be a donor only on the condition that his sperm would not be used to help same-sex couples.
Gaskell became a donor at Care Fertility after he and his wife first used the clinic in 2010. At the time, doctors noticed Gaskell's sperm had what they called "superman strength"—extremely high motility.
The doctors then offered Gaskell and his wife a discount on further rounds of IVF treatment if Gaskell would agree to become a sperm donor for the clinic. Gaskell agreed, on the condition that his sperm not be used for same-sex couples.
But the UK's Equality Act, adopted after Gaskell's donation, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. It became illegal for fertility clinic to honor Gaskell's demand for discrimination against same-sex couples.
Hence, Gaskell's sperm was subsequently used by three different same-sex couples, which resulted in five children, including a set of twins.
Speaking to The Daily Mail, Gaskell acknowledged that many people may find his stipulation—and the lawsuit that resulted from it—homophobic.
"I accept that some people will find this uncomfortable and that people might think I'm homophobic, or against the idea of single mothers. But that couldn't be further from the truth.
But he rejects the notion that his refusal to help same-sex couples is intolerant.
"This wasn't about discriminating against same-sex couples, it wasn't for religious reasons and I don't accept that it's bigotry. I think about these families—these children—every day, all the time."
Gaskell's reasons for denying his sperm to same-sex couples was:
"...you can't argue with biology. It takes a man and a woman to create a child, and it's my view that if children are being born with my sperm they must have a mother and a father."
On Twitter, there was very little buy-in on his claims of not being a bigot.
Neil Gaskell who is on the front page of the Mirror today sounds like thoroughly charming person. Not sure why you’… https://t.co/mFkwc3n4V7— Jess Kyle 🇪🇺 🇫🇷 (@Jess Kyle 🇪🇺 🇫🇷)1601191417.0
Neil Gaskell has apparently won compensation after his donated sperm was used to help 5 gay couples have children a… https://t.co/WyjmZKsOOm— David Andrew (@David Andrew)1601189539.0
@CoachCaroline Countless humans have been raised by traditional parents, and that alone, does not necessarily make… https://t.co/JSqRlCgLqg— Sue S. (@Sue S.)1601222406.0
Technically he's right if this was part of a contractual agreement. Generally he's a douchebag because he's insinua… https://t.co/1EVWll1g2w— The Feral Feminist 🟥 ♀️ 🇺🇸 (@The Feral Feminist 🟥 ♀️ 🇺🇸)1601171088.0
@TheSun Just slightly petty. You don't sell a product and moan because a certain demographic want to purchase— Lee Dazzler (@Lee Dazzler)1601224022.0
Time for IVF clinics not to accept sperm with conditions surely? The point of being a donor is to be altruistic and… https://t.co/Mt00cUUTqx— Mrjonno 🌱🌍 🏳️🌈 ⌛💚 #notmygovernment #RejoinEU (@Mrjonno 🌱🌍 🏳️🌈 ⌛💚 #notmygovernment #RejoinEU)1601248526.0
This man says he believes a mum and dad should raise kids together but he’s separated from the mother of his childr… https://t.co/CO4NHZjIkO— how dare you detective diaz i am YOUR SUPERIOR OFF (@how dare you detective diaz i am YOUR SUPERIOR OFF)1601243344.0
What a wanker... https://t.co/Q40Fjv0gOG— Stewart Who? (@Stewart Who?)1601329360.0
@AttitudeMag This is so sad, they shouldn’t be pandering to homophobes. If a donor specified no Jewish people, would they allow that?— Fan of David Paisley (@Fan of David Paisley)1601313170.0
@AttitudeMag Well hopefully he will now be expected to pay child support.— wildes cheese (@wildes cheese)1601328850.0
Among the hardships Gaskell claimed he suffered—because of his sperm donations—is his wife leaving him after finding out how many children he sired, including those of single mothers.
The former Mrs. Gaskell had not corroborated that the only reason she left her husband was his sperm donations at the time of this writing.
His settlement is said to be in the tens of thousands of pounds.