Local Activist Ken Keechl Dies

Ken Keechl. Photo via Facebook.

Ken Keechl, an attorney who pioneered LGBTQ family law in Florida, has passed away. The news was announced on social media by his friend, the Rev. Joel Slotnick. “Absolutely shocked and saddened to hear about the sudden passing of friend Ken Keechl. He was an amazing man who cared so much about the community. So many roles in government, too, aside from being a great attorney.”

He focused his life’s work on bettering the LGBTQ community around him. Before marriage equality, Keechl worked on domestic partnership law, adoption, and other equality issues.

He was also incredibly prolific in local politics. Keechl was elected to the Broward County Commission in 2006, and served as the county’s first openly gay mayor from 2009-2010. He graduated from Florida State University’s law school in 1987 and began a love affair with law and politics.

Todd Delmay, current president of the Dolphin Democrats, praised his predecessor as a friend and mentor.

“He was a leader in the community and a trailblazer. We are very proud of his past as president of Dolphin Democrats. His counsel was always so wise. He was a kind man and so giving.”

Community activist Jake Valentine knew Keechl as a man who was there when his community needed him.

“He was a great friend who worked side by side in efforts to promote equal rights.”

Keechl worked out of a modest office in a house in Wilton Manors. The small sign outside didn’t do justice to the man inside. He welcomed clients with a big smile and escorted them back to his working area, which looked outside to a sunny backyard. The person and the setting made people feel comfortable and took away some stress the client was feeling.

Wilton Manors city commissioner Paul Rolli says Keechl was more than a colleague, he was a friend. 

“I am extremely saddened by the passing of my friend Ken Keechl. He was a good attorney and we often shared lunch. He made a major contribution to local politics throughout the years. He now joins his husband Ted, who was also my friend. My condolences to his family and friends.”

His Final Days

His last year of life may have been his hardest. Keechl's husband, Ted Adcock, passed away in December. He also lost a political comeback bid in a run for county commission.

While his cause of death hasn’t been officially announced, several friends told OutSFL he was fighting a long-term illness, and had a procedure done just days before his death.

Dates and times for any memorial services have not yet been announced. Keechl was 60 years old.


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