JACKSON COUNTY, FL — (01-14-22) — LGBTQ+ rights activist Jorge Diaz-Johnston, who played an integral role in legalizing same-sex marriage in Florida prior to the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 2015 decision, was found dead in a landfill in Jackson County, Florida.

According to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, Jorge Diaz-Johnston’s remains were found in a trash pile at the Baker landfill in Jackson County, Fla. around 9:30 a.m.

Police said they are investigating the incident as a homicide with special circumstances.

Jorge Diaz-Johnston, 54, was reported missing by Tallahassee police on Jan. 8, the same day his body was found. According to police, he was last seen alive on Jan. 3.

“I am profoundly appreciative of the outpouring of support shown to me, my brother-in-law Don, and my family after the loss of my brother, Jorge Diaz-Johnston,” Manny Diaz, brother of Jorge, who served as Miami’s mayor from 2001 to 2009, wrote Thursday on Twitter. “My brother was such a special gift to this world whose heart and legacy will continue to live on for generations to come.” said Diaz.

Jorge Diaz-Johnston is survived by his husband Don Diaz-Johnston. The couple were married in 2015, shortly after they had won their landmark same-sex marriage case in Florida.

“There are just no words for the loss of my beloved husband Jorge Isaias Diaz-Johnston,” Don Diaz-Johnston wrote Wednesday in a Facebook post. “I can’t stop crying as I try and write this. But he meant so much to all of you as he did to me. So I am fighting through the tears to share with you our loss of him.”

A private funeral will be held for the family in Miami.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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