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Gay Va. man missing after attending Capital Pride

Minnoe was last seen at Ziegfeld’s/Secrets



Police are asking for help in finding a 31-year-old gay man who was reported missing Monday when he failed to return to his home near Fredericksburg, Va. after attending Capital Pride festivities.

A spokesperson for the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia said Edward Roland Minnoe IV was last seen by his roommates and friends late June 13 at Ziegfeld’s/Secrets nightclub at 1824 Half St., S.W., in D.C.

“He was seen speaking with an unknown race male inside the club, and that is the last time he was seen by witnesses,” says a statement from the Sheriff’s Office.

“He has not shown up for work as a manager at Petco in the Fredericksburg, Va. area, which is very unusual,” says the statement. “Mr. Minnoe was last [seen] wearing a white tank top, plaid brown and blue shorts and flip flops.”

The statement says Minnoe’s right ear is pierced with a diamond stud, his left ear is pierced twice and had a gold stud earring and a gold hoop earring. It says he was also wearing a silver “rainbow” ring on one of his fingers.

D.C. police, including the department’s Gay & Lesbian Liaison Unit, are assisting in the investigation.

Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Capt. Liz Scott said Minnoe’s roommates told authorities that he chose to remain at the club rather than drive home with them when the roommates wanted to leave. Scott said the roommates told a Sheriff’s Office investigator that Minnoe was with a man he met at the club at the time the roommates left to drive home.

She said Ziegfeld’s/Secrets has cooperatied with her office and D.C. police in efforts to find Minnoe and that the club has made available to authorities surveillance video from its security system, which captured images of Minnoe and possibly the man he met there.

Authorities have not released a description of the man Minnoe is said to have met at the club other than to say the unidentified man is of an “unknown race.”

The Sheriff’s Office describes Minnoe as a white man, 5 feet 8 inches and weighing 135 pounds. It says he has a tattoo of the name “Luke” on his right leg, a tattoo of a tribal band on his right arm and possibly a tattoo of an Asian dragon on his left upper arm.

Anyone with information about Minnoe’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Spotsylvania County Sheriffs Office at 540-507-7111.


District of Columbia

Bowser’s highest-level adviser resigns after sexual harassment allegation

Female staffer accuses John Falcicchio of longstanding abuse



John Falcicchio (Screen capture via WUSA9)

Lawyers representing a D.C. government employee shook up the city’s political establishment on Monday when they announced that the employee filed a sexual harassment complaint against John Falcicchio, the now former D.C. Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development and Mayor Muriel Bowser’s longtime chief of staff.

The attorneys, Debra Katz and Kayla Morin, did not identify the city employee. 

The announcement by Katz and Morin in a press release came shortly after Mayor Bowser issued her own announcement at a news conference on the same day. The mayor confirmed that Falcicchio’s sudden resignation last Friday, March 17, followed her decision to launch an investigation into allegations against Falcicchio.    

But Bowser said issues surrounding her longtime adviser’s departure amounted to “a sensitive matter that includes privacy concerns” that prevented her from disclosing why she initiated the investigation and why Falcicchio abruptly resigned. 

She said the investigation was being conducted by the city’s Office of Legal Counsel, which is “following established policies and procedures” and that all relevant D.C. government staff members were fully cooperating with the investigation.

“I can also tell you that this investigation does not involve any allegations of improprieties related to business transactions,” Bowser told reporters attending the news conference, which was initially called to celebrate the completion of the city’s 9th Street, N.W. protected bike lane project and to discuss updates on the Capital Bikeshare program.

“I have every confidence in my new chief of staff, Lindsey Parker, and in our new Interim Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, Keith Anderson,” Bowser said at the news conference. “And I have immense confidence in the 37,000 employees of the D.C. government who will keep us moving forward,” she said.

Parker has served as the city’s chief technology officer since 2019 and as assistant city administrator since 2022. Anderson has served as director of the D.C. Department of General Services, which oversees the city’s buildings and properties.  

“We represent an employee of the District of Columbia who came forward to report serious allegations of sexual harassment by former Chief of Staff and Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio,” the statement released by attorneys Katz and Morin says.

“It is our understanding that this behavior is longstanding, and our client is cooperating fully with the investigation, which Mayor Bowser initiated immediately,” the statement continues. “Our client is courageous. She came forward to ensure accountability and protect other women,” it says. “Given the gravity of our client’s allegations – which involve unwelcome advances and sexual contact – we ask the media to respect her privacy,” the statement says.

It concludes by encouraging “everyone affected” to contact Maia Ellis, the Associate Director of the Mayor’s Office of Legal Counsel, who’s leading the investigation, at [email protected].

Katz is a founding partner and Morin is an associate of the D.C. law firm Katz Banks Kumin, which specializes in sexual harassment law, whistleblower law, and employment law, according to a write-up on its website.

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Md. Senate approves transgender rights bill

Maryland House of Delegates passed similar measure on Saturday



Md. state Sen. Mary Washington (D-Baltimore City) speaks at a press conference for the Trans Health Equity Act on Feb. 14, 2023. (Washington Blade photo by Linus Berggren)

The Maryland Senate on Monday approved a bill that would require the state’s Medicaid program to cover gender-affirming treatment for transgender people.

Senate Bill 460 or the Trans Health Equity Act passed by a 31-15 vote margin. 

“Requiring, beginning on Jan. 1, 2023, the Maryland Medical Assistance Program to provide gender-affirming treatment in a nondiscriminatory manner; requiring that the gender-affirming treatment be assessed according to nondiscriminatory criteria that are consistent with current clinical standards; prohibiting the issuance of an adverse benefit determination related to gender-affirming treatment unless a certain experienced health care provider has reviewed and confirmed the appropriateness of the determination; etc,” reads a summary of the bill.

The Maryland House of Delegates on Saturday passed a similar measure.

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Md. House of Delegates approves transgender rights bill

State Medicaid program would be required to cover gender-affirming treatment



Md. state Sen. Mary Washington (D-Baltimore City) speaks at a press conference for the Trans Health Equity Act in Annapolis, Md., on Feb. 14, 2023. (Washington Blade photo by Linus Berggren)

The Maryland House of Delegates on Saturday approved a bill that would require the state’s Medicaid program to cover gender-affirming treatment for transgender people.

House Bill 283, or the Trans Health Equity Act, passed by a 93-37 vote margin. The measure now goes before the Maryland Senate.

“Proud that the MD House of Delegates passed the Trans Health Equity Act with such a strong majority,” tweeted state Del. Anne Kaiser (D-Montgomery County), who introduced HB 283.

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