World Media

Prominent US lawyer dies after setting himself on fire in protest

Prominent US lawyer dies after setting himself on fire in protest

Police found the charred remains in New York's Prospect Park on Saturday morning, minutes after several journalists received the last email that prominent gay rights attorney David Buckel would ever send.

Members of the public discovered the remains of David Buckel in a NY park, with the 60-year-old reportedly leaving a suicide note in a nearby shopping trolley.

"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", Buckel added in the note.

Buckel wrote that pollution was ravaging the planet and hoped his death would serve as a symbol.

Buckel was the lead attorney in a case surrounding Brandon Teena, a transgender teenager who was murdered in Nebraska in 1993. Hilary Swank won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Brandon in the 1999 film Boy's Don't Cry.

Buckel had a leading role in crucial same-sex marriage cases in New Jersey and Iowa, while he served as marriage project director and senior counsel at Lambda Legal - which is a national organization that fights for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.

He reportedly compared his actions to Tibetan monks who have sacrificed themselves to protest Chinese rule, according to Buzzfeed.

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"This is not new, as many have chose to give a life based on the view that no other action can most meaningfully address the harm they see", Buckel wrote. His death was pronounced by the police at 6:30 a.m.

The body of gay civil rights attorney David S. Buckel was discovered in Prospect Park this weekend.

'It's a very important case, not only within Nebraska but nationally, ' Buckel told the Daily Nebraskan newspaper in 2001, after helping win an $80,000 judgment.

'The thoroughness, the detail and the careful reasoning in the opinion means that other courts around the nation will be paying attention, ' he said.

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. #DavidBuckel Read my tribute to him. He was an urban gardener at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, running a large-scale composting operation. 'But it is incredibly satisfying work'. "He knew his craft and his trade and was strategic in how to build the blocks toward a sweeping victory". This is a tremendous loss for our Lambda Legal family, but also for the entire movement for social justice.

Lambda's Camilla Taylor described Mr Buckel as a "legal visionary".


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