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.
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.