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LGBTQ+ Rights Activist Found Dead in Florida Landfill

Author: Alex Cooper

Authorities in Florida are investigating the death of Jorge Diaz-Johnston, an LGBTQ+ activist who won a landmark court case in Miami-Dade County against the state’s ban on same-sex marriages. He was 54.

Diaz-Johnston vanished from Tallahassee January 3, according to Miami TV station WPLG. Detectives found his remains in a trash pile at a landfill Saturday morning in Jackson County, Fla., which is west of Tallahassee. 

Police are treating the case as a homicide.

Investigators said in a release that the trash Diaz-Johnston’s remains were found in came from a metal bay at another landfill. They added that any person or company has access to it.

Diaz-Johnston and his husband, Don Johnston, were one of six couples who successfully sued the Miami-Dade County Clerk’s Office after the office denied them marriage licenses in 2014.

The activist leaves behind his husband and his brother, Manny Diaz, who is a former mayor of Miami and is currently the Florida Democratic Party Chair.

“He touched so many people with his kind and generous heart,” Johnston said in a Facebook post.

Diaz-Johnston’s brother released a statement thanking community members for the support shown to his family and to Johnston.

“My brother was such a special gift to this world whose heart and legacy will continue to live on for generations to come. I am also so very grateful to the Tallahassee Police Department — with the support of Mayor Daley and City Manager Reed — who have worked tirelessly to locate and investigate the circumstances surrounding my brother’s disappearance,” Diaz said.

LGBTQ+ rights group Equality Florida honored Diaz-Johnston in a statement on Twitter.

“We are heartbroken to learn of the death of Jorge. He and his husband Don were two of the brave plaintiffs who took on Florida’s anti-gay marriage ban and helped win marriage equality for all Floridians,” the group wrote.

Local authorities have asked anyone who may have information regarding Diaz-Johnston’s death to please call the Tallahassee Police Department at (850) 891-4200. Callers may also remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at (850) 574-TIPS.

Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Alex Cooper

My name is David but my online nick almost everywhere is Altabear. I'm a web developer, graphic artist and outspoken human rights (and by extension, mens rights) advocate. Married to my gorgeous husband for 10 years, together for 24 and living with our partner of 1.5 years, in beautiful Edmonton, Canada.

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