LGBT lawyer dies after setting himself on fire in climate change protest

Officials investigate the scene and carry away the man's body inside Prospect Park

Officials investigate the scene and carry away the man's body inside Prospect Park

A prominent gay rights lawyer has died after setting himself on fire in a NY park to protest against pollution and the use of fossil fuels.

Buckel's suicide note said he had used fossil fuel to burn himself as a metaphor for the destruction of the planet.

A jogger who stumbled across the remains and shared photographs of them on Twitter before they were covered up by police said they were "freaked out" by the discovery.

He headed up Lambda Legal's defense team that secured justice from the state of Nebraska for the rape and murder of transgender man Brandon Teena in 1993. He left a note in a nearby shopping cart which he also emailed to several news outlets including the New York Times, the paper reported.

"A life of privilege requires actions to balance the harm caused, and the greater the privilege, the greater the responsibility", Buckel added.

"Honorable goal in life invites honorable objective in death", he concluded.

Buckel had worked for Lambda Legal, a national gay rights advocacy group.

In a statement on Buckel's death, Lambda Legal described his death as "heartbreaking" and the attorney as a "beautiful human being".

In another pivotal case, Buckel won a New Jersey Supreme Court ruling in 2006 acknowledging that gay couples are entitled to the same legal rights and financial benefits as heterosexual married couples. "We will honor his life by continuing his fight for a better world". The case inspired the Oscar-winning 1999 movie "Boys Don't Cry", directed by Kimberly Pierce and featuring Hilary Swank as Teena. He also served in an official capacity on the NYC Compost Project at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, which is right next to Prospect Park.

In his note, Buckel invoked the images of protesters setting themselves afire to protest the Chinese occupation of Tibet.

"He deserves tremendous thanks for recognizing this was in many ways at the heart of what it meant to be gay for many Americans and making it a priority", Susan Sommer, a former attorney at Lambda Legal, told the Times.

She added: "He was a very smart and methodical lawyer".

David was a handsome human being who was universally kind to everyone at Lambda Legal, committed to his clients, and devoted to our work'.

Offered Camilla Taylor, Lamba Legal's director of constitutional litigation and acting legal director in a statement, 'This is a tragic loss for our Lambda Legal family and for the social justice movement'.

Recommended News

  • President Trump Responds To FBI Raid Of His Lawyer's Office

    President Trump Responds To FBI Raid Of His Lawyer's Office

    According to reports, the raid is the clearest sign yet that the president's longtime attorney is in serious legal jeopardy. Attorney for the Southern District of NY , which is now led by Trump appointee Geoffrey Berman.
    Trump weighs military options in Syria

    Trump weighs military options in Syria

    Since the alleged chemical weapons attack, Moscow has announced that Douma is "totally stabilized" and will be patrolled by Russian military police.
    Sisi arrives in Saudi Arabia to participate in Arab summit

    Sisi arrives in Saudi Arabia to participate in Arab summit

    The Arab League's Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said that major threats facing Arabs are all equally important and unsafe . Syria serves today as a major pivot between Saudi Arabia and its allies on the one hand, and Iran and Hezbollah on the other.
  • Eagles' Worley arrested near team facility, gun found at scene

    Eagles' Worley arrested near team facility, gun found at scene

    The report also shows that Worley was tased by the police after allegedly becoming aggressive towards the officers on scene. While in college at West Virginia, Worley pleaded no contest to misdemeanor assault after a 2014 incident at a nightclub.
    United Kingdom  ministers back action to deter Syrian chemical weapon use

    United Kingdom ministers back action to deter Syrian chemical weapon use

    So there is no practicable alternative to the use of force to degrade and deter the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Regime. In her comments, May also alluded to a nerve agent attack in Britain last month on a former Russian spy and his daughter.
    Commonwealth Games: Nigeria drop to 9th Position

    Commonwealth Games: Nigeria drop to 9th Position

    With the loss, Satwik and Chirag settled for the silver medal, bringing an end to India's campaign in the Gold Coast Games. Amit, who was chasing his third successive worldwide Gold, was beaten by England's European silver-medallist Galal Yafai.
  • No 'final decision' from Trump on Syria

    Nebenzya, accused the United States and its allies of reckless Middle East warmongering by threatening Syria with military force. British opposition lawmakers have called on May to give Parliament a vote before any military action.
    France says its analysis points to Syria behind Douma gas attack

    France says its analysis points to Syria behind Douma gas attack

    Speaking of Assad and his suspected role in last week's chemical weapons attack, Trump said, "These are not the actions of a man". The ministry additionally pointed to previous alleged use of chemicals by the rebels in fighting with Syrian government troops.
    UEFA Charge Guardiola, Liverpool After UCL Tie

    UEFA Charge Guardiola, Liverpool After UCL Tie

    When those are the standards you set yourself, uncomfortable questions follow if the big games go awry with any kind of frequency. They haven't done that in the last two games. "Whenever people see the things, he will decide the opposite".
  • West Brom's Jay Rodriguez cleared of alleged racial abuse

    West Brom's Jay Rodriguez cleared of alleged racial abuse

    Pogba scored twice in the thrilling comeback 3-2 victory over Manchester City last week. The midfielder will no doubt be full of confidence against a deflated Albion outfit.
    Dana White Reacts To Dustin Poirier's Khabib Nurmagomedov Callout

    Dana White Reacts To Dustin Poirier's Khabib Nurmagomedov Callout

    Dustin Poirier vowed to finesse Justin Gaethje, and finesse him he did. "He has no quit in him, and I respect that 100 percent". In his last nine fights, Poirier is 7-1 with a no-contest vs.
    Analysts Showing Optimistic Trends For AbbVie Inc. (ABBV)

    Analysts Showing Optimistic Trends For AbbVie Inc. (ABBV)

    The stock has "Outperform" rating by RBC Capital Markets on Thursday, February 22. (NASDAQ:CLVS) rating on Tuesday, February 27. The investment professionals in our database now possess: 65.20 million shares, up from 65.06 million shares in 2017Q3.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.