Gay-rights lawyer sets himself on fire in protest against climate change

In 'protest suicide,' lawyer famed for gay rights cases burns himself to death in New York

Buckel was the lead attorney in Brandon v. County of Richardson in Nebraska, in which a county sheriff was found liable for failing to protect Brandon Teena, a transgender man who was murdered in Falls City, Neb. He also served in an official capacity on the NYC Compost Project at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, which is right next to Prospect Park. "I apologize to you for the mess", the note reportedly said.

As senior counsel and marriage project director at Lambda Legal, a national LGBT civil rights organization, Buckel was a strategist behind notable same-sex marriage cases in Iowa and New Jersey that were key in advancing the marriage equality movement. "We will honor his life by continuing his fight for a better world".

According to the "New York Daily News", Buckel left a handwritten note at the scene which said he'd self-immolated with "fossil fuel" to symbolize how they destroy our environment.

Buckel added that he hoped his death would lead to greater activism: "Honorable goal in life invites honorable objective in death". Hilary Swank won an Academy Award for her portrayal of the transgender man in the 1999 movie Boys Don't Cry.

The typed note conveyed that he hoped his act was "an honorable death that might serve others".

Buckel went to great lengths to make sure that first responders knew who he was and why he took his own life.

The News said the envelope with the "suicide note" was found inside a garbage bag, which was placed in a shopping cart that was found near Buckel's body.

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In the note, Buckel referenced the Tibetan monk protesters who set themselves on fire in protest the Chinese occupation in Tibet, arguably an image that has captured resistance and protests more powerfully than any other.

According to reports, David Buckel fatally set himself on fire early Saturday morning in a New York City park.

Police closed off a large patch of lawn as bewildered parkgoers began to stream into the park. While it appeared he burned himself to death, the NYPD said the cause of death is still under investigation.

'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'. However, on closer inspection, it was revealed to be the deceased body of David Buckel, who had committed suicide.

Buckel, a graduate of Cornell Law School, worked with several local organizations that were involved in the practice of community composting.

In addition, he also fought against the Boy Scouts of America and their ban on gay leaders, against a Utah high school for not allowing a gay student club, and against the state of Pennsylvania for a woman's right to sign her late lover's tombstone with "beloved life partner".

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