Gay rights lawyer burns himself to death in protest against fossil fuels

David Buckel’s suicide notes were left inside an envelope labeled “for the police” placed inside a garbage bag left inside a shopping cart near the body

David Buckel’s suicide notes were left inside an envelope labeled “for the police” placed inside a garbage bag left inside a shopping cart near the body

David Buckel a gay civil rights attorney who was a lead attorney in the case involving murdered transgender Nebraskan Brandon Teena, died early Saturday morning after setting himself on fire in a Brooklyn park.

The 60-year-old set himself on fire in the busy NY park, leaving a suicide night behind to explain his actions.

"Most humans on the planet now breathe air made unhealthy by fossil fuels, and many die early deaths as a result - my early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves", another section read.

The New York Times reports that it received an emailed copy of Buckel's suicide note, in which he wrote that he hoped his death was an "honorable" one and that it "might serve others".

He has been involved in numerous landmark cases involving youth in the LGBTQ community, most notably his role as the lead attorney in a lawsuit regarding Brandon Teena, a transgender man who was murdered in Nebraska. A 1987 graduate of Cornell Law School, he served as marriage project director at Lambda Legal, a national organization that fights for LGBT rights.

He likened his self-immolation to protests by Tibetan monks making a powerful political statement against Chinese occupation, according to HuffPost. In normally vibrant Prospect Park, where Buckel ended his life, police and firefighters gathered around what the Times calls a "grim scene".

"Honorable objective in life invites honorable goal in death", Buckel wrote in the email to the Times.

Told Irena Ryjova, 44 who came past the 'mass" just after 7 am, an hour after Buckel burned himself, "It was just lying there, on its back, knees slightly bent like someone would lie on the sand at the beach'.

Police told the Associated Press he was pronounced dead at about 6:30 a.m.

According to the Daily News, "a 2006 story in Gay City News said that Kaelber and Buckel were co-parenting their daughter with two women, Rona Vail and Cindy Broholm".

'The thoroughness, the detail and the careful reasoning in the opinion means that other courts around the nation will be paying attention, ' he said. But he was best known as a champion of gay rights.

He was also a nationally renown pioneer in #CommunityComposting and one of my mentors.

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. 'But it is incredibly satisfying work'.

She added: "He was a very smart and methodical lawyer". This is a tremendous loss for our Lambda Legal family, but also for the entire movement for social justice. "He was a lovely human being who was universally kind to everyone at Lambda Legal, committed to his clients, and devoted to our work".