Gay-rights lawyer burned himself to death to protest global warming

Gay-rights lawyer burned himself to death to protest global warming

Famed attorney David S. Buckel, a longtime champion of LGBT rights, died early Saturday morning after setting himself on fire in Prospect Park in Brooklyn, the New York Times reports.

The remains of David Buckel, 60, were found by civilians passing through the NY park, and police say he was pronounced dead at around 6:30 a.m EST.

'I hope it is an honorable death that might serve others'.

Mr Buckel was the lead attorney in a case involving Brandon Teena, a transgender man murdered in the U.S. state of Nebraska. Hilary Swank won an Academy Award for her portrayal of the transgender man in the 1999 movie Boys Don't Cry.

Buckel went on from that case to work for Lambda Legal, a national LGBT rights organization that mourned his death Saturday in a statement on its website. "Most humans on the planet now breathe air made unhealthy by fossil fuels, and many die early as a result - my death by fossil fuels reflects what we are doing to ourselves".

Buckel's suicide note, left in a shopping cart near his body, was also emailed to multiple news outlets, including the Times.

He represented Brandon Teena's mother in a lawsuit against the New England sheriff which notified Teena's rapists that he had pressed charges and did nothing to protect him from being killed. Friends confirmed that after Buckel left Lambda Legal he got involved with environmental activism.

"Honourable objective in life invites honourable goal in death".

In his suicide note, Buckel recalled the Tibetan monk protesters who have set themselves on fire in protest of the Chinese occupation in Tibet, according to the New York Daily News.

"Here is a hope that giving a life might bring some attention to the need for expanded actions, and help others give a voice to our home, and Earth is heard".

He was also a well-known ecological activist, working with the NYC Compost Project, funded by the city Sanitation Department and based at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Tributes have begun to pour in for Buckel, with Lambda Legal calling his death a loss for the "entire movement for social justice".

"We were a little freaked out", said a jogger who stumbled across the gruesome remains before the victim's body was covered with a tarp by first responders. It took us a little while to process it, ' she said.

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