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

David Buckel’s suicide notes were left inside an envelope labeled “for the police” placed inside a garbage bag left inside a shopping cart near the body

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

The New York Times reports that it received an emailed copy of Buckel's suicide note, in which he wrote that he hoped his death was an "honorable" one and that it "might serve others". "Honorable goal in life invites honorable objective in death", Buckel wrote in the email to the Times.

The case attracted quite a lot of publicity and was even adapted into a movie, concentrating on Teena's life named "Boys Don't Cry", which won actress Hillary Swank an Academy Award.

Buckel made a name for himself by working with the gay civil rights group Lambda Legal for the Marriage Project.

Buckel apparently left the note in a shopping cart in close proximity to where his remains would be found the following day. David was a lovely human being who was universally kind to everyone at Lambda Legal, committed to his clients, and devoted to our work.

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.

"Honorable objective in life invites honorable goal in death", he concluded.

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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", he wrote.

He represented Brandon Teena's mother in a lawsuit against the New England sheriff which notified Teena's rapists that he had pressed charges and did nothing to protect him from being killed.

'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'.

"We were a little freaked out", a jogger who found the body told the newspaper.

The 1987 Cornell Law School graduate argued during his career against the Boy Scout ban on gays and for the establishment of a gay student club at a Utah high school. David was a handsome human being who was universally kind to everyone at Lambda Legal, committed to his clients, and devoted to our work'.

"This is a tremendous loss for our Lambda Legal family, but also for the entire movement for social justice", she said in a statement.

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