Tragic death of Jorge “George” Diaz-Johnston
Jorge “George” Diaz-Johnston was found dead
Police are still investigating the tragic case of Jorge “George” Diaz-Johnston’s death. The prominent Florida-based LGBTQ+ activist was found dead in a landfill last Saturday. This comes as a shock to the local community, who was so deeply impacted by Diaz-Johnston’s work.
The 54-year-old Tallahassee local was reported missing on January 3, 2022, and found more than an hour away from his home in a Jackson County landfill. He was also the brother of former Miami-Dade Mayor and current chair of the Florida Democratic Party, Manny Diaz. The Cuban-American brothers have played a significant role in shaping the community and contributing to a lot of important changes in legislation, activism, and social impact.
According to the police, he was reported missing near his workplace on Jan 3, 2022, and they are currently investing his death as a homicide. While officially they have not determined a motive for the murder, neither have they named any suspects, there is speculation surrounding the nature of the crime.
Currently, the police are also asking for any leads and requesting people with possible information on the case to come forward with information that may be relevant to the case.
Jorge Diaz Johnston and his partner, Don Diaz Johnston, were one of five couples who came together to sue the Miami-Dade County Clerk’s Office in 2014 after they refused to issue them a marriage certificate. A staunch advocate for equality, he, along with his partner and other same-sex couples, continued to organize and follow through on the lawsuit in court.
The lawsuit was incredibly historic and led to the judge siding with the couples and them winning the case.
The following year, the State of Florida dropped its ban on same-sex marriage, marking a major win for the LGQBT+ community.
Their case was organized and carried forward by the organization Equality Florida, which recently expressed their condolences on Twitter, saying:
"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. Our deepest condolences to Don and Jorge’s extended family."
It’s a major loss for the community and the State of Florida, and it shows. Dozens of activists and people from the general public have expressed their grief online as the news broke. It’s truly unfortunate and reflects on the deeply internalized sense of homophobia, bias, and unfounded hatred that still exists.
Investigators working on the case have requested that any leads or tips be shared on Crime Stoppers at 850-574-TIPS.
Calle Ocho News would also like to express our condolences because it’s not just a loss for the LGBTQ+ community but also for the Cuban community, both of whom have struggled and worked hard, fighting for equality, respect, and acceptance.
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