Prominent US lawyer sets himself on fire in protest
Prominent US lawyer sets himself on fire in protest
David Buckle at the New York composting centre that became his passion
16 April, 2018, 21:29
Buckel also served as marriage project director at Lambda Legal, a national organization that fights for LGBT rights, where he was the strategist behind same-sex marriage cases in New Jersey and Iowa.
Following his retirement in 2008, Buckel became "a king of compost" and a committed environmental activist who worked as an organizer, fundraiser, and volunteer coordinator for the Red Hook Community Farm, the New York Daily News reports.
The remains of David Buckel, 60, were found by civilians passing through the NY park, and police say he was pronounced dead at around 6:30 a.m EST.
In a suicide note found nearby, Mr Buckel wrote that he had immolated himself using fossil fuel to symbolise what he said was the damage human beings were doing to the Earth. I apologize to you for the mess.
"Pollution ravages our planet, oozing inhabitability via air, soil, water and weather", the note stated.
Buckel was the lead attorney in Brandon vs. County of Richardson - a cause that concluded that a Nebraska county sheriff was liable for failing to protect a transgender man, Brandon Teena, who was murdered in Falls City. In the second, a copy of which was sent to the Daily News, Buckel wrote that "my early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves", suggesting he had used gasoline or a similar fuel in his suicide. Teena's story was portrayed in the movie "Boys Don't Cry". David was an indefatigable attorney and advocate, and also a dedicated and loving friend to so many.
But he was best known as a champion of gay rights.
"David was a brilliant legal visionary". He spearheaded a case in which a federal court ruled that schools are obligated to protect gay students from bullying. This is a tremendous loss for our Lambda Legal family, but also for the entire movement for social justice.
He said most people now breathed bad air and many died prematurely.
Buckel led Lambda Legal's efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in the United States, the organization said.
In 2006, he argued to the New Jersey Supreme Court that gay couples were not receiving equal protection of the law after municipalities them denied marriage licenses. He championed filing a marriage lawsuit in state court in Iowa in 2005, at a time when only MA permitted same-sex couples to marry.
"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. We have lost a movement leader, a colleague, and a friend. "A lifetime of service may best be preserved by giving a life".
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