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Watch: Out Florida Equality Advocate Found Dead; Police Suspect 'Foul Play'

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Saturday January 15, 2022
Originally published on January 14, 2022

The body of Jorge Diaz-Johnston, 54, a leader in the fight for marriage equality, was found in a landfill days after he went missing on Jan. 3. While no cause of death has been released, police suspect foul play, the Daily Beast reported.

Diaz-Johnston's body was discovered on the morning of Jan. 8 in a landfill located in Jackson County, Florida, news channel Local 10 detailed.

The Tallahassee Democrat relayed that, according to police report, Diaz-Johnston "was last seen Jan. 3 in the 2800 block of Remington Green Circle near his workplace."

A friend took to Facebook on Jan. 8 to share news of Diaz-Johnston's disappearance, the article said. His body was found later that same day.

The newspaper recalled that Diaz-Johnston and his husband were plaintiffs "in a historic lawsuit that ended with Miami-Dade becoming the first county in the state to legalize same-sex marriages."

The article went on to add, "The lawsuit began in early 2014 when Jorge, 54, his husband, Don Diaz-Johnston, and five other same-sex couples sued the Miami-Dade County Clerk's Office after they were barred from getting marriage licenses."

In June of the same year, "Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel announced her decision in favor of the couples."

Diaz-Johnston "was also the brother of Manny Diaz, chair of the Florida Democratic Party and former mayor of Miami," the article added.

Manny Diaz took to Twitter on Jan. 13 to express his grief and share his gratitude for "the outpouring of support shown to me, my brother-in-law Don, and my family after the loss of my brother," whom Manny called "such a special gift to this world whose heart and legacy will continue to live on for generations to come".

The City of Tallahassee Police Department posted news about Diaz-Johnston's death, urging anyone with information to come forward by contacting "TPD at 850-891-4200."

"They may also remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 850-574-TIPS," the post added.

To watch the Local 10 news clip, follow this link.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.