Environmental advocate dies after setting himself on fire in New York

Environmental advocate dies after setting himself on fire in New York

A prominent LGBT rights lawyer and environmental advocate was found dead in NY on Saturday (April 14), after reportedly setting himself on fire using fossil fuel in a protest against ecological destruction.

David Buckel, 60, killed himself after sending messages to multiple news outlets including The New York Times claiming his intentions to set himself on fire to protest the world's usage of fossil fuels at the expense of the environment.

"I am David Buckel and I just killed myself by fire as a protest suicide", read a handwritten suicide note, according to the New York Daily News.

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

In 1993 her served as the lead attorney for the lawsuit involving the murder of transgender teenager Brandon Teena.

The case was made famous in the 1999 movie "Boys Don't Cry", for which Hillary Swank won an Oscar for portraying Teena.

Buckel was well known as a defender of gay rights and had worked as marriage project director and senior counsel at Lambda Legal, an organization that fights for LGBT rights.

"Pollution ravages our planet, oozing inhabitability via air, soil, water and weather", Buckel wrote in his email to the Times.

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Buckel apparently left the note in a shopping cart in close proximity to where his remains would be found the following day.

'My early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves'.

Varous said she often saw Buckel and his partner at the Park Slope Food Co-op and a farmer's market. Honorable goal in life invites honorable purchase in death.

'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 also fought for the right of gay high-school students in Salt Lake City to organize a club, and argued against discrimination in the Boy Scoutss of America and the military.

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. "He will be remembered for his kindness, devotion, and vision for justice", Camilla Taylor, director of constitutional litigation and acting legal director, said.

Susan Sommer, a former Lambda Legal lawyer who is now the general counsel for the mayor's office of criminal justice in NY, told the Times Buckel "was all about justice, but he was also all about what it means to be human".

Sommer added: 'He was a very smart and methodical lawyer. "David helped create Lambda Legal's focus on LGBT youth", Taylor continued, detailing Buckel's work on a case that led a federal court to rule that schools "have an obligation to prevent anti-gay bullying".

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