Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

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

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

David Buckel a gay civil rights attorney who was a lead attorney in the case involving murdered transgender Nebraskan Brandon Teena, died early Saturday morning after setting himself on fire in a Brooklyn park.

"It was just lying there, on its back, knees slightly bent like someone would lie on the sand at the beach", said Irena Ryjova, 44, a rollerblader who passed by at about 7 a.m., less than an hour after the immolation.

Mr Buckel was the lead attorney in a case involving Brandon Teena, a transgender man murdered in the USA state of Nebraska.

The activist's note was recovered in a manila envelope marked 'To The Police, ' which was found inside a shopping cart Buckel had discarded at the scene.

The Daily News reports that Mr.

He added, "A life of privilege requires actions to balance the harm caused, and the greater the privilege, the greater the responsibility".

"Honorable goal in life invites honorable objective in death", he concluded. This is a tremendous loss for our Lambda Legal family, but also for the entire movement for social justice.

Camilla Taylor - Lambda Legal's director of constitutional litigation and acting legal director - said in a statement: "The news of David's death is heartbreaking". "A lifetime of service may best be preserved by giving a life".

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He also served as marriage project director at Lambda Legal, a national organisation that fights for LGBT rights, where he was the strategist behind same-sex marriage cases in New Jersey and Iowa. The case inspired the Oscar-winning 1999 movie "Boys Don't Cry", directed by Kimberly Pierce and featuring Hilary Swank as Teena.

Buckel worked with Teena's mom, JoAnn Brandon, in a lawsuit against Richardson County, accusing Sheriff Charles B. Laux of failing to protect Teena from her rapists, who killed him after he reported the rape.

In the note Buckel left, he also supposedly drew comparisons between his actions and those of the Tibetan monks who self-immolated in order to protest Chinese rule.

Buckel ran the NYC Composting Project out of Red Hook Community Farm.

Susan Sommer, a former attorney for Lambda Legal and now the general counsel for the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, also reacted to Buckel's death.

Sommer added, "He was a very smart and methodical lawyer".

The statement continued: "Our hearts go out to all who knew David. David helped create Lambda Legal's focus on LGBT youth", she said.

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