Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Gay-rights lawyer burned himself to death to protest global warming

Courtesy of Moakley Archive & Institute CloseCourtesy of Moakley Archive & Institute
Melinda Barton | 15 April, 2018, 22:25

A lawyer well known for his work in gay rights and environmental advocacy burned himself to death in a Brooklyn park on Saturday as a protest against fossil fuels.

During Saturday morning's suicide, the famed 60 year old attorney left behind a suicide note in which Buckel told of his intention of burning himself to death with "fossil fuel" in a bid to show how mankind was likewise killing itself.

A suicide note read that Buckel used a "fossil fuel" to commit the suicide, indicating the action was done as a type of ecological protest. The note urged people to lead less selfish lives in a way to protect the planet, and said that he hoped his death was "honorable" and "might serve others".

He also worked on a lawsuit on behalf of Brandon Teena, a transgender man who was raped and murdered in Falls City, Nebraska, in 1993.

Buckel also served as marriage project director at Lambda Legal, a national organization that fights for LGBTQ rights, where he was the strategist behind same-sex marriage cases in New Jersey and Iowa.

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

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

The Times reports that one of the cases Buckel spearheaded, Nabozny v. Podlesny, was the first time a federal court ruled that schools have an obligation to prevent the bullying of gay students, said Camilla Taylor, acting legal director at Lambda Legal.

In his suicide note, Buckel recalled the Tibetan monk protesters who have set themselves on fire in protest of the Chinese occupation in Tibet, according to the New York Daily News.

Buckel lived near the park and was an avid community leader.

'A lifetime of service may best be preserved by giving a life...

"Honourable goal in life invites honourable objective in death". He won the lawsuit, resulting in a county sheriff being held liable for failing to protect Mr Teena.

Hilary Swank as Brandon Teena in Boys Don't Cry. David was a attractive human being who was universally kind to everyone at Lambda Legal, committed to his clients, and devoted to our work'.

'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'.

"The decision vindicated David's firm belief that we could win such cases even in the heartland, and propelled us to victories elsewhere", Taylor said of the case. "It took us a little while to process it", she said.

He worked in composting groups for local projects and was also a lawyer who campaigned for gay rights.