Prominent gay rights' attorney dead after apparent self-immolation, police say

Prominent gay rights' attorney dead after apparent self-immolation, police say

A prominent gay rights lawyer has died after setting himself on fire in a NY park to protest pollution and the use of fossil fuels.

The charred remains of David Buckel, 60, were discovered shortly after sunrise when firefighters responded to a report of a fire in the southwest corner of the sprawling Brooklyn park, police sources said.

In his note, Buckel invoked the images of protesters setting themselves afire to protest the Chinese occupation of Tibet. In it he urged the world's residents to protect the planet, The New York Times reported.

"Pollution ravages our planet, oozing inhabitability via air, soil, water, and weather".

Mr Buckel also insisted in the email he was in "good health to the final moment".

"We were a little freaked out", one jogger told reporters.

The note, according to The New York Daily News, said: "My early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves".

Buckel famously served as lead attorney in a lawsuit involving transgender murder victim Brandon Teena, who was raped and then killed in 1993. Hilary Swank, who starred in the film, won an Academy Award and Golden Globe for her portrayal of Teena.

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LGBT lawyer David Buckel set himself on fire as a sign of protest.

The prominent lawyer also worked as a Marriage Project Director and Senior Counsel at Lambda Legal, which has long fought for LGBT rights.

After leaving the organisation he became involved in campaigning for environmental causes, according to the Times.

In several online videos from 2014, he spoke passionately about techniques for turning garbage into compost in inner cities. "He was a lovely human being who was universally kind to everyone at Lambda Legal, committed to his clients, and devoted to our work".

Offered Camilla Taylor, Lamba Legal's director of constitutional litigation and acting legal director in a statement, 'This is a tragic loss for our Lambda Legal family and for the social justice movement'.

Calling him a "beautiful human", the firm said "David was an indefatigable attorney and advocate, and also a dedicated and loving friend to so many. He will be remembered for his kindness, devotion, and vision for justice".

"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 reportedly wrote.

"Honourable objective in life invites honourable goal in death".

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