‘I consider him a hero’: Diaz-Johnston remembered as ‘family’, ‘gift to this world’ by family, friends

Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 5:50 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Police are continuing to investigate the death of Jorge Diaz-Johnston after his body was found in a landfill in Jackson County over the weekend.

Diaz-Johnston leaves a legacy as one of many who fought to legalize gay marriage in Florida.

Gay marriage was legalized in the Sunshine State in 2015, thanks in part to the efforts of Diaz-Johnston.

Friends remember him as being warm, happy and a champion for gay rights.

In a 2014 press conference with Equality Florida, he, along with five other couples, announced a lawsuit against the state’s gay marriage ban.

“I consider him a hero,” said Jeff Delmay, a friend and co-plaintiff in the lawsuit. “I couldn’t have done it without Jorge and Don. Don couldn’t’ have done it without Jorge.”

After they won the right to marry, Jorge and Don were special guests at the wedding of Jeff and his partner, Todd.

“They were celebrating us, but they were also celebrating themselves,” Delmay continued. " And that’s the memory that I have in my mind now when I think of Jorge.”

Todd Delmay says losing Jorge is like losing a family member.

“We’re a family,” he said. “He and Don were a port of our family forever.”

In a Facebook post, Don Diaz-Johnston said his husband touched so many people with his kind and generous heart.

Diaz-Johnston’s brother, Manny Diaz, is the Florida Democratic Party Chair. He shared Don’s sentiment, releasing a statement that says, in part, “My brother was such a special gift to this world whose heart and legacy will continue to live on for generations to come.”

He also says he’s grateful to the Tallahassee Police Department, Mayor John Dailey and City Manager Reese Goad for their investigation into the circumstances surrounding his brother’s disappearance.

Diaz-Johnston was a Tallahassee resident and a Florida State alum.

According to a missing person flyer issued by TPD last week, Diaz-Johnston was last seen on January 3 near the 2800 block of Remington Green Circle.

If you have any information about the incident, you can call TPD or make an anonymous tip to CrimeStoppers.

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