Post Magazine: About Isabella

April Witt
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, February 5, 2007; 12:00 PM

Janet Jenkins and Lisa Miller got hitched and had a baby together in 2002. Vermont said that was a simple truth. Virginia said it was all null and void. Since then, the couple has split and the future of a little girl hangs in the balance. April Witt tells their story in this week's issue of Washington Post Magazine.

April Witt is a staff writer for the Magazine.


April Witt: Hello. Welcome and thanks for joining me on this chat. Feelings are, not suprisingly, running high on this topic. Let's get started.


Dayton, Ohio: Wow, I just feel terrible for this little girl. For most of the story, I sympathized with Lisa, especially given her description of Janet's behavior during their relationship. Then Lisa said that she was keeping Isabella from Janet because she believes homosexuality is a sin, which startled me, and Lisa lost all sympathy from me at that point. If Lisa were truly concerned only about Isabella's well-being, and not striking out against her former "lifestyle," she would argue that Janet was abusive, neglectful, etc., and thus visitation would not be in Isabella's best interest. But instead, she is arguing that, simply because they are both women, Janet has no rights. Since the two women's accounts of their relationship have practically nothing in common, we know that the truth must lie somewhere in between, but I doubt we will ever know exactly what happened between them. How terrible for this child, who has already been deprived of two obviously loving grandparents, and who will be embroiled in this ideological struggle for years to come.

April Witt: Thanks for your observations. I agree with you that Isabella, and other children in similar circumstances, are going to be embroiled in this ideological battle for years to come. Perhaps one of the few things that people on all sides of this ideological battle might agree on is that this is primarily a tragedy for Isabella.


Chevy Chase DC: This is a sad story, but what of it? Gays are people too, and people make poor decisions about relationships all the time. Unfortunately, children become part of the equation. If the gay community wants the right to marry (which I fully support), they are going to have to expect all the bad things along with the good.

As "Kinky" Friedman, recent candidate for governor of Texas, said (and this may be a slight paraphrase):" Of course gays should be able to marry. Why shouldn't they have as much right to be miserable as everyone else?"

April Witt: Obviously, this is written by someone who is or has been married.


Henniker, NH: Is there a heterosexual-equivalent case such as this that can be used as precedent? It seems to reason that a heterosexual couple in the last 20 yrs or so has undergone a similar situation where artificial insemination was used, adoption was not undertaken, and the couple "dissolved their union."

April Witt: At one point in the story, I quote Judge Cohen asking Lisa's lawyer about the scenario of a married, straight couple in which the man is infertile, the woman becomes pregnant through mutually agreed upon artificial insemination - and then the couple later divorce. You would think, given how common that scenario is, that every state would have statutes to address whether the man in that case has full parental rights. Some, such as the commonwealth of Virginia, do. Others, like Vermont, don't or didn't at the time Miller-Jenkins v. Miller-Jenkins began working it's way through the Vermont courts. (My understanding is that judge around the country have tended to recognize that the man has parental rights in such cases. If he stood in the role of father, he becomes a defacto parent, many judges rule.) One obvious lesson of this sad conflict is that anyone embarking upon creating a family through non-traditional means needs to learn in advance what their legal rights are and take measures to protect themselves and their offspring.


"Chang[ing] the course of the case": As a lesbian, and as a human being, I found your story heartbreaking. As an attorney, though, I must challenge your statement that Lisa Miller's decision to fire Linda Reis and find a new lawyer "change-d] the course of the case."

No matter which attorney had represented her in the Vermont court, it is extremely doubtful, at best, that Lisa could have succeeded in rebutting the presumption that Janet Jenkins is Isabella's parent under Vermont law.

Even though this specific issue may not have been decided under Vermont law, rebuttable presumptions in general are nothing new: they require the party opposing the presumption to introduce sufficient evidence to overcome the presumption. In this case, Lisa would have been required to present facts establishing that Janet should not be considered Isabella's parent.

But if your story is correct, Lisa acknowledges that she and Janet picked a sperm donor "whose physical traits -- such as green eyes -- would be a close match to Janet's." She also seems to admit that Janet supported her and Isabella financially, during the pregnancy and after Isabella's birth -- even after Lisa and the child moved back to Virginia.

In fact, Isabella's very name is extremely telling. Not only did Lisa give her child the last name "Miller-Jenkins," indicating that Janet was the co-parent; Isabella's middle name, Ruth, happens to be Janet's mother's name -- probably not by coincidence.

Given all of these facts, it is extremely unlikely that a court would have ruled that Lisa had succeeded in rebutting the presumption.

Even if Lisa's testimony that Janet declined to adopt Isabella is accurate, I doubt that that fact alone would have persuaded a court to rule in Lisa's favor. The entire point of legal civil unions is to eliminate the need for same-sex couples to take a multitude of separate legal steps to establish their relationships in the eyes of the law. Legal marriages have the same goal.

Would any court rule that a male heterosexual spouse should not be considered the parent of a child who was conceived and born while he was married to the mother, simply because he thought it was unnecessary for him to take the extra step of adopting that child? I think not.

What changed the course of this case was the influence of organizations like Vermont Renewal and Liberty Counsel, which are apparently advising Lisa to keep Janet from seeing Isabella. They also appear to have orchestrated Lisa's decision to prevent Isabella from referring to Janet's parents as "Mom-Mom" and "Pop-pop," as she did for the first three years of her life.

These supposedly "pro-family" organizations are in substantial part responsible for shattering the bond between Janet Jenkins and her daughter. Shame on them, and on Lisa Miller for refusing to take responsibility for her own actions. She made a legal and moral commitment to Janet, and can't renege on it now merely because she's unilaterally decided that Janet should not be "a legal parent with rights equal to hers."

April Witt: No one can say for sure how Judge Cohen would have ruled had Lisa had a chance to hold a parentage hearing to formally contest that Janet was Isabella's parent. From what I've learned of the law working on this story, I think your argument that Lisa would not have prevailed is probably on point. But I stand by my sentence that Lisa's decision to change lawyers changed the course of the case. It may not have changed the final outcome, whatever that is. But it certainly could have changed the course. If Reis had continued to represent Lisa, then Lisa would have at least had the opportunity to argue Janet's parentage. Win or lose, that would have made it a different case.


Washington, DC: Why is it that your report charaterized the dispute between the two women as "no longer a private heartache but an ideological cause" only when Liberty Counsel joined the fray? Do you consider them more conservative than Deb Lashman is radical? Is there any reason, really, that I should react with anything other than laughter and eye rolls when the Post denies bias?

April Witt: You are missing some pretty big points. I don't think the case only became ideological when Liberty Counsel entered the fray. This case has obviously been intensely ideological on both sides, not just Lisa's. In fact, I quote Lisa as saying that she felt like Isabella had become a "political prisoner" after the hearing in which Lashman represented her and before Lisa ever signed on with Liberty Counsel. I make it clear that Lisa felt like this became political from the gay rights side, and then she subsequently responded by joining forces with people who oppose gay marriage.


Bethesda, Md: Hi Ms. Witt,

I thought the story was very well written. I am amazed at how much information you got from both women, and was very impressed at the information you got on Deborah Lashman. I thought that Ms. Lashman did a diservice to Lisa. How did you get the information on Ms. Lashman?

April Witt: I read the hearing transcripts. In a case like this where people's views of reality differ so much, there is no substitute for being able to read a neutral document like a trancript.


Arlington, Va: The sad thing about all of this is that this child is being denied a relationship with 3 people who love her. You can never have too many people to love and help care for a child. It seems to me it would be better to work out some sort of relationship and visitation now, rather than cut people out of Isabella's life because of a disagreement over who gets called what. I know there are deeper issues than that, but when Isabella gets old enough to understand, that's what it will boil down to and she will likely resent her mother for it.

April Witt: I certainly wouldn't hazard a guess on what Isabella will think down the road. But I appreciate your weighing in with your thoughts.


Baltimore, Md: While I have no problem with being devoutly religious, I was disturbed at Lisa's repeated assertions that "God will provide." Does long-term financial stability come into play when deciding who will receive custody of Isabella? Great story, by the way.

April Witt: During the hearing scheduled for April Judge Cohen is expected to hear testimony on what's in the best interest of the child in terms of custody and visitation. Finances will be one part of that equation.


Gaithersburg, Md: I'm afraid I have no sympathy for Lisa in this situation. She's had her civil union, and now that she doesn't want to share custody of her daughter, she's cynically exploiting the system in a conservative state to deny Janet visitation rights simply because they're a same-sex couple. Unfortunately, her actions could have disastrous repurcussions for same-sex couples in Virginia who don't see their unions as something that can be disavowed if they ever become inconvenient. How incredibly selfish of her.

April Witt: Advocates on on both sides of this ideological divide point to Miller-Jenkins v. Miller-Jenkins as a prime example of why the nation needs clear national law to settle such disputes. Of course, they have opposite views of what that law should say.


Washington DC: Was Lisa aware of the irony on her insistent belief in "God's plan" and the completely human-planned creation of Isabella?

April Witt: I didn't ask her about that specifically. Thanks for making that point.


Washington, D.C.: Very interesting article.

This situation is a strong argument for nationwide recognition of same-sex marriage. While national recognition could not repair the damaged relationship of the mothers here, it would at least provide a nationally recognized legal framework to decide these issues.

It is unfortunate that this case has been commandeered by the religious right as a means to advance their agenda. Religion undoubtedly has a place in American life, but marriage is a contract between two people and the State. A fundamentalist Christian's religious beliefs should have no bearing on whether two same-sex people can marry. Religious organizations can decide for themselves whether to marry same-sex couples, and would never be forced to do so if gays and lesbians were allowed to marry.

In the end, I feel bad for Isabella. Instead of being raised with two loving parents and an additional set of loving grandparents, she may never have a chance to know her mother and grandparents. Now, she's a pawn in a custody battle and faces being raised by an impoverished single mother. This outcome can hardly be in the best interests of the child.

April Witt: I'm obviously ethically prohibited from weighing in with opinion. So I'll just post your thoughts without comment.


Arlington, Va: Would this even BE an issue if a Janet and Lisa were a heterosexual couple, Lisa being the biological Mom and Janet being a stepfather, who had not adopted Lisa's child, and then split up with the Mom? OF COURSE NOT! The biological Mom would win full custody -- even in Vermont. So why do the courts give Janet, the non-biological former stepparent who didn't adopt the child, better standing than she would have if she were MALE? Isn't this just a politically correct move to give HIGHER standing to a gay ex-"parent" than a straight one would receive??? GIVE ISABELLA TO HER MOTHER AND LET JANET MARRY/ADOPT/DO WHATEVER SHE WANTS WITH HER NEW PARTNER!

April Witt: Thank you for sharing your obviously intense feelings. Leaving ideology aside, anyone in a similar sitution - male or female, gay or straight - should, given the current state of the law, adopt to protect their parental rights. At least that's what some lawyers who work these cases all the time tell me.


No disservice to Lisa: I'm the attorney who previously posted. I've also been a client of attorneys in two different cases. I don't think Deb Lashman did anything wrong. At the very least, she did exactly what my attorneys did in both cases: advise me about how they thought the courts would interpret the law in light of the facts of each case. In one instance (in which I was assaulted), my attorney strongly advised me not to press criminal charges, and told me how difficult it would be if I decided to do so. In the other case (personal injury), I suggested several arguments to my attorney, and he explained why he was not willing to present those arguments to the court.

Based on my own experience, I don't think Deb Lashman did any disservice to Lisa. Apparently neither did the judge; after hearing testimony from both sides, he rejected Lisa's claim. Plus I don't see any suggestion in the article that the Vermont Bar took any action against Lashman. The only "disservice" that has been done here has been suffered by Ms. Lashman, who must deal with the allegation -- aired in a nationwide media outlet -- that she represented Lisa inappropriately.

April Witt: I imagine Ms. Lashman would agree with you wholeheartedly.


Anonymous: I'm confused. I thought being lesbian, gay,or bisexual was an inherent orientation and not a lifestyle choice. Lisa seems to refute that. Is she just in denial?

April Witt: Lisa's view seems to be that it is a lifestyle. Obviously, lots of people agree with her, and many, many others find that argument repulsive and insulting.


Exburb, Md: Ms. Witt, that was an interesting piece. Before I even got to it in your article, I thought to myself, "No, because women who becomes pregnant via donor cannot deny their husband's claims of parenthood!"

But more disturbing, I spoke with a friend who is a public defender in a midwest state about your piece. His state has a relatively new "defense of marriage" law, passed by voters. PDs in one part of his state are using the law to argue, successfully, against domestic abuse charges and restraining order violations because the man and woman are not married, thus it can't be a truly domestic problem according to the law. The state has strict domestic violence laws, but the charges are being reduced to simple (rarely aggravated) assault charges, which carry much more lenient sentences. My friend admits that these PDs are just doing their jobs, and he would do the same if required. I just don't think a lot of voters quite get the side affects of some of these laws.

April Witt: Ah, the law of unintended consequences.


Silver Spring, Md: April Witt: During the hearing scheduled for April Judge Cohen is expected to hear testimony on what's in the best interest of the child in terms of custody and visitation. Finances will be one part of that equation.

It's hard for me to find middle ground on the financial end of this. It seemed to me that both women were not exactly great with money, and a donated fish bowl doesn't make a child safe and healthy. Lisa does seem to have a support group financially, but toxic emotionally. I'm Catholic, but I was raised that no religion should dictate how another person lives (I'm pro-choice, consider myself a g/l/t ally) and I think that's what Lisa is letting her church do.

April Witt: Lisa is an intelligent woman. She's making her own choices. No church is not forcing anything on her.


Re: Arlington: I think Arlington uses the wrong analogy (but does use the CAPS button well). The best analogy is not a biological mother and a step-father. The proper analogy is the one the judge used: a biological mother and an infertile father who used an anonymous donor and conceived the baby through in virtro.

However, this gets me to thinking of the current case. Are there processes where the doctor could take an egg from each woman, and randomly pick one, then impregnate one woman, without anyone ever knowing whose egg was used? My head reels from the court case in this situation!

April Witt: My head reels. Your idea about using eggs from both women breaks down the moment the women split and one of them demands DNA testing.


Queen Anne, Md: The longer this goes on, the more difficult it will be for Isabella. Her memories of Janet are most likely few or nonexistent at this point, making reunion between the two more difficult. I also suspect that this will be used by Lisa to strengthen her position that Janet should not see the child.

I am a birthmother, having surrendered a son over forty years ago. I was also married to a gay man with whom I had a child, so I feel some connection with this situation. Either Lisa was not a lesbian in the first place, or she is trying to pass for straight. Current research demonstrates a biological basis for homosexuality. The relationship was entered into in good faith, and the child conceived with the expectation of two parents (moms). I think it only fair that Janet and her parents be granted liberal, unsupervised visitation and be called by the names they had when the relationship was intact.

April Witt: Janet and her parents would certainly agree with you.


Vermont: What would Lisa have done if she had been married to a man, they had a biological child, they divorced and then he entered a homosexual relationship? Would she then be trying to prevent the child from seeing her other parent on the basis that "homosexuality is a sin"?

April Witt: That would be consistent with her current thinking.


Washington, DC: The poster who feels so strongly that Isabella should just be given to Lisa used the wrong analogy. This does not equate to a step-parent relationship. A step-parent is a parent that enters the picture after the child is born, not one who has a legal relationship with the other parent at the time of birth. In most states, when a child is born to a couple in a married relationship, the man is presumed to be the father regardless of biological relationship. This is true whether the child is conceived via artifical insemination or is the result of an adulturous relationship. Unless specific steps had been taken to sever that presumption (and it usually has to happen very early in the child's life), the legal father would have every right to custody/visitation.

April Witt: Your comments certainly echo what I've heard about the man in this case having the presumption of parentage. But that presumption is not backed up by iron-clad protections in all states. The presumbtion can be challenged -- sometimes successfully, sometimes not.


Annapolis, Md: I recognize the politics at work here but I have to say that as a parent in a non-traditional, long-term hetero relationship, I find Lisa's position as a parent indefensible. To keep her daughter away from her partner who provided her with financial support and helped her fulfill her wish to be a parent is appalling. Not every parent is perfect but Janet seems to have been responsible, present, loving and supportive; in short, all that a child needs.

April Witt: Thanks for sharing your views.


Virginia: hello. What exactly is the law? Is is this covered by rules/policy/regulations?

April Witt: Some of the pertinant laws vary from state to state. There is long-standing family law - created to address divorce between heterosexuals - that clearly apply here. Multiple judges and Va. and Vt. now have said, essentially, that there is no gay exception to that longstanding family law. For example, the first court to hear a custody case gets continuing jurisdiction whether the splitting couple are gay or straight, wed or merely "unionized."


Silver Spring, Md.: As a mother, my heart breaks at the idea of a child Isabella's age being taken from the only woman she's ever known as Mommy and given to a stranger. Does anyone involved understand this?

April Witt: I would hope that everybody, no matter their political or legal views, would understand that no matter what side "wins" Isabella should not be the loser.


Chicago Ill: You mentioned that at the time of separation, Janet was paying child support to Lisa. Is child support still being paid throughout this dispute?

April Witt: I believe that Jent paid support initially, stopped paying after she was no logner able to see Isabella, and recently once again began sending support checks. The last I heard was that Lisa had no cashed any of those recent support checks.


Baltimore, Md: I have to comment on Anonymous's question about lifestyle vs. choice and how it relates to Lisa's current feelings about her sexuality. The motivation for having a physical and emotional relationship with a member of the same sex varies for different people. For many people, it's biologically driven; but based on Lisa's description, it sounds as though she was looking to fill a specific emotional and/or physical need. In the end, she didn't find what she was looking for--but the shame and judgement she is faced with from within herself, her religion, our society, etc., saddens me. That is the only explanation I can think of as to why she is so condemnatory towards not only her own past but homosexuality as a whole. It's a shame that other life experiences can be often written off as an "Live and learn" but a same sex relationship cannot.

April Witt: Thanks for your obvservations.


adopting your own children: Interesting suggestion by someone that men whose wives have babies through artificial insemination (from a sperm donor) have to be sure they're covered legally, which may mean they need to adopt the kid. I guess the same is true if they use an egg donor? In that case, if it was the husband's sperm, couldn't he argue that the baby is not his wife's? It's a wild, woolly world of assisted reproductive technology these days.

April Witt: I don't think anyone would disagree with you on that.


New York, NY: I was just wondering whether all parties involved were fully supportive of your writing this article?


April Witt: I don't think anybody in this case was thrilled to have me in their life asking difficult questions about deeply personal issues. But both sides tried to be cooperative. I've tried to play it down the middle and recount both sides "truths" - even though they are at sharp odds.


Washington, D.C.: I am also a lawyer and agree that Lashman's representation seemed appropriate. In Vermont, Lisa would have had little to no chance of rebutting the presumption that Janet was the parent. Doing so in Vermont would have resulted in a frivolous legal argument and a waste of the court's time and Lisa's money. Because of the laws in Virginia against same-sex couples having any legal arrangement, it is clearly a different story. Lisa's decision to move to Virginia is probably a major reason why these religious-right legal organizations have agreed to represent her. They know that they may prevail on such an argument in Virginia.

April Witt: Thanks for your comments.


Arlington, Va:"Washington DC" suggests that because Isabella was conceived in a laboratory her birth was not part of "God's plan." I'd argue that if God didn't intend for humans who could not conceive much-wanted children the ordinary way to have another option, He would not have allowed the development of assisted reproductive techniques. Either He is in charge or He isn't!

As to the unidentified lawyer who doesn't think Deborah Lashman did a disservice to Lisa and says the Vermont Bar obviously agrees with her, given Vermont's political climate that's not really a surprise. Any Vermont attorney who dared to argue against the "rights" of a lesbian "parent" would find him/herself without clients and probably under investigation. Back in the real world, that might not be the case, but in ultra-trendy Vermont....

April Witt: And the civil war continues right here on our chat.


Silver Spring, Md.: Can Lisa get the case to be started over since it was clear she got poor legal representation from Lashman?

April Witt: No, she can't. And obviously the lawyer who posted above didn't think Lashman represented Lisa poorly.


Bristow, Va: April, you say you're ethically prohibited from an opinion. Your piece definitely carries both sides, and covers both women warts and all. But your ideological battle is "conservatives" vs. "gay rights activists." Why not the word "liberal"? And why are the gay activists creating a "history" of "landmarks"? Doesn't that betray a value judgment? Doesn't it assume a long line of gay-activist victories around the historical bend?

April Witt: Labels are always a disaster. There are all kinds of liberals and kinds of conservatives. There are conservatives who want the religious right out of the nation's bedroom. There are gay activists who vote for fiscal conservatives. So I thought it would be expeditious to refer to religious conservatives v. gay activists. Obviously, you disagree.


Alexandria, Va: I abhor Lisa's tactic of "vacationing" with Laura in Vermont to secure the benefits and responsibilities of marriage, (of which Isabella was a legally recognized product,) then seeking relief in another state's court to nullify the contract.

So, Laura never adopted Isabella... As you pointed out in your riveting feature, such is the case in male/female marriages when the couple uses artificial insemination to conceive.

They sought parity; they should get it!

April Witt: They certainly have experienced one terrible kind of parity. Breaking up tends to be a universal heartache, especially when kids are involved.


Arlington, Va.: One point that hasn't really been highlighted here: if Lisa had gotten legal representation BEFORE she filled out that initial form in Vermont, this entire case might have taken a different turn. Regardless of how you feel about this case, it does show the importance of getting legal advice from the get-go.

April Witt: That's certainly true. Lisa thought the form was not especially significant at the time she filled it out. It turned out to be of great significance. Judges along the line have used that form she filled out in making their decisions that Janet is a legal parent.


Annapolis, Md: One reason why so many people in the US are fighting to keep religion separate from government was illustrated by a previous poster who said that if God didn't intend people to use assisted reproduction technology to have children, then he wouldn't have allowed the development of that technology. Using that logic, if God didn't want the world to be poisoned by radioactive fallout from nuclear weapons, then he wouldn't have allowed us to invent them. This is pretty pathetic reasoning.

Lisa chose to have a child with Janet. This was a deliberate act (it hardly could have been accidental), and now that the relationship has ended, she is doing whatever she can to prevent her former partner from having any relationship to her child. This is not any different from what thousands of divorcing people do every day in this country. Lisa's strategy is just more despicable than usual.

April Witt: Thanks for your comments.


Arlington, Va: I just laughed out loud at the last poster's "ultra-trendy Vermont!" Ha, ha, ha. Coming from Vermont originally-- a conservative farm family-- I can tell you it is NOT ultra-trendy. But that's a whole 'nother discussion. The funny part is that some of us who are the opposite of trendy are the first ones to be suspicious of the legal system intruding upon private family arrangements. Obviously, in the case of children and fragmented relationships, it needs to deal with that, and that is why, whatever our opinion on people's very personal choices, abiding by them-- so long as they are not detrimental to us personally or to our society-- is something we must do within a legal framework.

Now, many people do see homosexuality as a threat to our society, and then the question becomes: is it morally responsible to wage that battle through the legal system, in individual cases?

April Witt: I'm glad we gave you something to laugh about. This all seems pretty grim to me.


Takoma Park, Md: As a lesbian in a stable and loving relationship, I can't possibly express the burden of trying to live in a climate in which basic rights taken for granted by heterosexual people are a constant worry for me. Although we both have wills, and put both of our names on most of our financial matters, every time I get on a plane the last thing I do is worry about what would happen (even with the legal protections we have in place) to my partner if my plane crashed. I had minor surgery two years ago, and updated my will before having the surgery. I should not have had to have the added concern that if something went wrong and I died, that even my legally notarized requests and directives could be challenged because of my sexual orientation. I cannot imagine the added amount of stress from having children that would be affected.

It's really not fair that I pay taxes -- with our combined income a LOT of taxes -- but I cannot count of the same protections and the same PEACE OF MIND in my relationship that my heterosexual neighbors take for granted. I live in a very liberal county, in a very liberal state (I went to college in Virginia and lived there until I purchased my home and decided I did not wish to continue to give my tax money to hate-mongers). But when you are in a gay relationship, every decision from walking down the street or going out to eat together, to making life decisions such as having children or making a major financial investment have very different potential consequences. I'm very lucky to have the love, health, financial well-being, and overall joy in my life that I have been blessed with. And I believe that God has blessed me. But not the same God that these conservative "Christians" use to justify their hate and intolerance.

April Witt: Thanks for sharing your direct experiences.


Baltimore, Md: Thank you for a splendid and multi-dimensional look at a complicated case. Anything that helps humanize gay and lesbian people is most welcome, especially in this time of increasing religionist prejudice

Several Virginia churches just broke away from the Episcopal Diocese to affiliate with the Church of Nigeria (!) as a protest against ordaining gay bishops. It does not seem to bother them that the Primate of the Church of Nigeria, one Peter Akinola, has called for gay people to be arrested. And then those two young women, who may or may not have been lovers, according to the notes they left and whose bodies were found this weekend, are much on my mind.

The closet kills. Come out come out wherever you are.

April Witt: We are out of time, folks. Thanks to everyone who participated.


Editor's Note: moderators retain editorial control over Live Online discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions. is not responsible for any content posted by third parties.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company