Jorge Diaz-Johnston, a plaintiff in Miami-Dade’s landmark ruling to legalize same-sex marriage, was found dead in a landfill about an hour from Tallahassee on Jan. 8, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

His death is considered a homicide, and Local 10 reports that his husband, Don Diaz-Johnston, has not been ruled out and that he did not report his husband missing for five days.

On Jan. 12 on Facebook, Don shared, “I can’t stop crying as I try to 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.” Jorge’s funeral was two days later at Church of the Little Flower in Coral Gables.

Jorge was also the brother of former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, who tweeted, “My brother was such a special gift to this world whose heart and legacy will continue to live on for generations to come.”

In 2014, the Diaz-Johnstons and five other couples sued Miami-Dade County alongside Equality Florida for the right to marry. According to an interview with the couple by SFGN, the two met on Match.com and Johnston later proposed.

“The fact that we are even having this national debate is a direct result of so many LGBT trailblazers who sacrificed so much so that the generations in the future can experience Valentine’s Day and their love just like anyone else,” Jorge said.

Same-sex marriage became legal in Miami-Dade County on January 5, 2015, and the next day it was legalized in the state of Florida. The couple was married in March that year.

"Jorge was a crucial part of this historic lawsuit that's one of the biggest moments of the LGBTQ civil rights movement in Florida history," Stratton Pollitzer, deputy director of Equality Florida, told the Tallahassee Democrat. "It's incomprehensible to hear that one of our heroes has been taken from us."

In a Facebook post on Jan. 9, the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office shared that Jorge’s body was found in the trash at 9:30 a.m. The driver was on his way to collect another load of trash when he was told to call law enforcement. The trash came from a bay at the landfill that can be accessed by the public.

The Tallahassee Police Department said Jorge’s death is being investigated as a homicide. 


If you have information on this case, contact the Tallahassee Police Department at 850-891-4200. You can also remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 850-574-TIPS.


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