Lesbian Lawmaker In Utah Carries Baby For Gay Men

Rep. Christine Johnson will serve an additional role when the Utah Legislature convenes this month. The lesbian lawmaker announced she's a surrogate mother, carrying a baby for two gay men.

Johnson, D-Salt Lake City, said she decided to become artificially impregnated with sperm from one of the men after the two close friends expressed frustration over the difficulty of adopting a child.

Utah law prohibits unmarried couples from adopting and does not recognize gay marriage.

Johnson, 41, who has a 17-year-old daughter from a two-year marriage, is four months pregnant and expecting on June 21.

"I can very much empathize with their desire to become parents and share their lives with and open their hearts to a child," Johnson told the Salt Lake Tribune. "I'm immeasurably grateful to be a mother."

Johnson offered to be a surrogate at no cost to save the Salt Lake County men the prohibitive cost of hiring one — as much as $100,000.

The men, who were married in California when gay marriage was legal, will pick up the medical costs.

Johnson said she's aware that many lawmakers in conservative Utah think a child does best with both a mother and a father. She predicts the men will be "wonderful parents."

"Gender or sexual orientation is less important than children being welcomed into a supportive, loving home," she told the Deseret News. "This child is going to have an amazing life."

She has declined to identify the men.

Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, said he thinks having both a mother and father in the home "is the optimum, and what every baby deserves."

But he added: "I do respect any woman who will carry and bear a child for a childless couple ... It's my responsibility to show respect and love for one of God's daughters."

House Speaker David Clark, R-Santa Clara, also a Mormon, agrees. "At the end of the day, it's the gift of life" that is important, he said.

Johnson said the child will know her as the mother, but that she will have an "aunt-type relationship."

The man whose sperm was used to impregnate Johnson will have the same rights to the child as any biological father. But under Utah law, his partner cannot be an adoptive parent.

Testing has shown the baby is free from genetic disorders that are more common with later pregnancies. The baby's sex is still unknown.

Johnson was born on the East Coast and moved with her family to Provo when she was 8. She later left the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Johnson said she doesn't think her constituents will react negatively to her pregnancy. She plans to seek a third term this year.

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  • by C on Jan 24, 2010 at 10:07 AM
    Jeff and Charles: Homosexuality IS a choice..and the wrong one at that. God did'nt make anyone that way;those that practice that particular "lifestyle" chose to rebel against Him.
  • by jeff on Jan 18, 2010 at 02:01 AM
    To Ken, How do you connect the chaos this country is suffering to tolerance of homosexuality? Although an ideal family may be to have a female and male role model, that is not a reality. Many families are less then perfect and the percentage of imperfect families isn't higher with homosexual parents as it is with straight parents. There is no evidence that the child raised by gay parents "suffers." If straight families would stop raising their children to judge, the children of gay couples will not suffer the criticisms. I see where you are coming from. But it all stems from your idea that this is a behavior or a choice. It is not. Same as you didn't choose to be heterosexual.
  • by Charles on Jan 17, 2010 at 07:19 PM
    If God didn't want loving same sex couples to love and raise children, he will destroy them like he did the Hatians. Sounds supid, huh? Well...it is. There is nothing wrong with showing love to a human or to any of God's creatures. God loves us all. He does not discriminate like people in the likes of "Anonymous." He loves all races and all orientations. He is weeping over what happened to the people in Haiti. But is comforted by seeing the people step up and offer assistance, rather than sit back and do nothing but criticize others. Jesus loves everybody. Why can't these people that call themselves Christians? We should all have the "We Love Everybody" attitude!!
  • by jeff on Jan 17, 2010 at 06:49 PM
    To Anonymous. Are you hiding your identity because you say these words in shame. You said yourself how screwed up society is; divorce, murder, prison, single-parent homes. These are all common in heterosexual environments or the way you feel things "should" be. What's wrong with letting two people love each other and share their love with a child. The homosexual is just as much about family as you claim to be. I guess if you are straight, you will never understand how one can be attacted to the same sex. But it would be best for all involved that you find better things to argue about. People don't choose to be gay. But to a closed minded person, they won't believe that. Not once I have ever seen in the Bible where Jesus talked bad about people like many of the hypocrites around here.
  • by Ken Location: Eastern NC on Jan 17, 2010 at 06:17 PM
    Remember when the word gay meant something else. Homosexual beahvior used to be a mental illness. A choice. Someone here said that God should be the judge. Well, I think he already has judged. Look at the state of our country. No wonder the terrorists are after us now. The country has turned away from God and is being divided from within. We condone or 'tolerate' homosexual behavior, abortion, murder(condoned by lack of justice)and so many other sins. We have strayed so far from our founders path that we may never get back on track. They know that we have become weaker due to our sins and are vulnerable. Issues like this keep us divided. Me. I think it is wrong. A child needs a mother and father and it is extremely difficult even then without adding extra stress to the situation. Stop thinking about yourselves. Think about this child and how its life is going to be affected in society. You can't change what is right and wrong to suit everyone at their convenience.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 17, 2010 at 04:13 PM
    Think about this happening in the 1950s... Would most people accept this as "good" or "right"? What has changed? Nothing...other than our perception of what is right and wrong. This is wrong! It's just our PC liberal "We Love Everybody" attitude that makes things seem less important. Things like the balance of parenting you get from one female & one male. But our society has become so screwed up, the "normal" family has become uncommon. Divorce rates, murder, prison...children are rarely raised by both parents anymore. It doesn't make it right nor does it make it less wrong. It just makes you FEEL like it's more okay.
  • by C on Jan 14, 2010 at 12:21 PM
    OBX Pirate: I think you're comparing apples to oranges here. While God can certainly create what He wants, you can't get around the fact that His Word is clear on the subject of homosexuality. Contrary to your claims, my own sexual orientation is immaterial when it comes to discerning for myself between right vs. wrong. No amount of convoluted reasoning can convince me that God created anyone to be attracted to those of the same sex. It is a rebellious choice people make, and it's still against God's natural plan.
  • by OBX PIrate Location: OBX, NC on Jan 13, 2010 at 02:18 PM
    Wow, "C". You speak of gays as if we're not even human beings. I have comment or two to make. IT IS NOT A CHOICE and unless you personally, you yourself, are gay, then you do not know. You and others can think you know or read where you think you know, but unless you are gay, you cannot speak for anything. This is my question, we are all God's creatures. We are all created by him. There are folks who, for example are born with problems with their bodies that are not perfect, their are those born with mental challlenges, and there are also those born with both sexual organs known as hermaphrodites. What are they? Are they sinners when they dont even know which sex they should desire? Are they sinners when they are maybe a man and woman at the same time which does exist more than people know. NO, they are not. What i dont get is how you think God is not capable of creating what he wants for whatever reasons. You have no idea and to say its a choice, its unfounded period.
  • by C on Jan 12, 2010 at 09:56 PM
    John: Call me a "hater", though I don't hate. Call me a "homophobe", which is also wrong, since I'm not afraid of gays. I will agree that many people who are opposed to the homosexual agenda can come across as "haters". But most of us do not hate gays. We just resent the notion that such a vile sickness could be foisted upon us in the guise of an "alternative lifestyle". We resent that this perversion is indoctrinated upon our children in school and in the media as being normal and acceptable; common sense, God's Word and simple biology all say otherwise. If your idea of "moving forward" is supporting this atrocity, then a dinosaur I'll happily be. My children will be taught God's Word, not hate..and not political correctness either. Homosexuality is a choice, and it's the wrong choice at that.
  • by John Location: Greenville on Jan 12, 2010 at 07:58 AM
    This is really interesting news. It gives me hope for the world that diversity truly can emerge victorious, passing through clouds of vicious bigotry to take it's rightful place. As was said earlier, gay rights is the new civil rights battle. Let the haters die off like the dinosaurs they are. Time to move forward.

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