The LGBTQ community of Miami-Dade County was rocked today when Jorge Diaz-Johnston, the brother of Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz as well as a plaintiff in the landmark Miami-Dade County same-sex marriage lawsuit, was found dead on Saturday after being missing since January 3rd. Diaz-Johnston’s husband Don announced his beloved husband’s death on Facebook, saying in part “There are just no words for the loss of my beloved husband Jorge Isaias Diaz-Johnston. 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….this is all so sudden….Please share the news with everyone you can. He touched so many people with his kind and generous heart. It seems impossible to even fathom how to tell them all. But if you want to help, that is how you can. By sharing the best of him with each other”
Diaz-Johnston’s body was located in a trash pile at a landfill in Jackson County on Saturday, after last being seen in the 2800 block of Remington Green Circle in Tallahassee, where Diaz-Johnston lived with his husband, Don Johnston. As one of the six couples who filed a highly publicized 2014 lawsuit in Miami-Dade County, they publicly challenged Florida’s ban on same sex marriage. A county judge eventually ruled the Florida ban as unconstitutional close to a year before the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling that made gay marriage that law of the land throughout the country.
Todd Delmay, who along with husband Jeff sued the Miami-Dade Clerk of Courts during the 2014 lawsuit, posted on Facebook saying “It is with profound sadness that we, as fellow plaintiff couples, come together to remember Jorge Diaz-Johnston, our brother in the fight for LGBTQ+ equality. His warm smile and easygoing manner made you forget that he was also a fierce advocate that worked in and for our community for many years. His legacy connection to marriage equality has been remembered most this week, but those who knew him will keep alive the memory of his broader, enduring impact on the lives of those around him. He danced at our weddings, he laughed with our children, and he forever became a part of our plaintiff couples family. He leaves behind his husband Don Diaz Johnston, whom we hold even closer in our hearts today. Rest well Jorge, in the love that sustained you, and the knowledge that you left the world a little better for future generations”.
Jorge Diaz-Johnston is being memorialized by friends and family online here