Diaz-Johnston remembered as ‘family’, ‘gift to this world’ by family, friends

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — Police continue to investigate the death of Jorge Diaz-Johnston after his body was found at a Jackson County landfill 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.

His friends remember him as warm, happy and an advocate for gay rights.

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

“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 being granted 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 I have in mind now when I think of Jorge.”

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

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

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

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

He also says he is 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 Florida State alumnus.

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

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

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