Lawyer sets himself on fire to protest climate change

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A prominent American lawyer and gay rights activist has died after setting himself on fire at a NY park to protest damage being done to the planet, according to United States media reports.

According to Buzzfeed, police confirmed the suicide of David Buckel, 60, who was discovered when firefighters responded to reports of a fire in Prospect Park.

He stapled his business card to the note and left behind a longer, neatly typed explanation of his self-immolation.

"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", the email continued.

New York Daily News notes that Buckel also argued against Boy Scouts of America's ban on gay leaders and for the establishment of a Utah high school's gay student club. "A lifetime of service may best be preserved by giving a life".

"Honorable objective in life invites honorable goal in death", Buckel wrote.

He was the lead attorney in a lawsuit regarding transgender man Brandon Teena, who was murdered in Nebraska in 1993.

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"My name is David Buckel and I just killed myself by fire as a protest suicide", the note reportedly said.

The 1999 movie earned actress, Hilary Swank an Oscar for her portrayal of Teena.

He was also a nationally renown pioneer in #CommunityComposting and one of my mentors. Honorable objective in life invites honorable purchase in death.

"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". #DavidBuckel Read my tribute to him.

He worked in composting groups for local projects and was also a lawyer who campaigned for gay rights. 'But it is incredibly satisfying work'.

The New York Times quoted friends of Buckel as saying that he became involved in environmental causes after leaving Lambda Legal. "He knew his craft and his trade and was strategic in how to build the blocks toward a sweeping victory".

Camilla Taylor, director of Lambda Legal, said in a statement to HuffPost that their organization will honor Buckel's life by "continuing to fight for equality". David was a lovely human being who was universally kind to everyone at Lambda Legal, committed to his clients, and devoted to our work'.