Saturday, May 21, 2022

Florida gay rights activist found dead in junkyard, sparking murder investigation

A gay rights activist whose 2014 trial led to a landmark gay marriage victory in Florida has been found dead. According to police, his death was ruled a homicide.

Jorge Diaz-Johnston, 54, has not been seen since Jan. 3, when his body was found in a Jackson County landfill on Jan. 8, about 90 miles west of where he was last seen in Tallahassee, authorities said.

The garbage was originally collected from another nearby landfill that is accessible to the public, according to a release from the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, which said an autopsy would determine the cause of death.

Jorge Diaz-Johnston and his then-partner Don Johnston were one of six couples involved in a lawsuit filed against Miami-Dade County over a ban on same-sex marriage.

Tallahassee Police Department

In 2014, Diaz-Johnston and his then-partner Don Johnston were one of six couples involved in a lawsuit filed against Miami-Dade County over a ban on same-sex marriage, according to the Miami Herald. The plaintiffs won their case in 2015, leading to the first gay couples in Florida getting married.

Jorge Diaz-Johnston’s roommate was also questioned, Local 10 News reported on Saturday.

Tallahassee police did not respond to HuffPost’s requests for comment on Sunday.

Don Diaz-Johnston expressed his grief at the news of his wife’s death in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

“He touched so many people with his kind and generous heart,” he wrote. “There are simply no words for the loss of my beloved husband Jorge Isaias Diaz-Johnston. I can’t stop crying when I try to write this.”

Manny Diaz, in a statement posted on twitter on Thursday thanked local authorities for the ongoing investigation.

“Their commitment was of the utmost importance to my family and will continue to be of the utmost importance in our quest for justice,” he said. “My brother was such a special gift to this world, whose heart and legacy will live on for generations to come.”

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Nation World News Desk
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