Gay Civil Rights Lawyer Dies After Setting Himself On Fire

Maricruz Casares
Abril 17, 2018

The New York Times said it received an emailed copy of Mr Buckel's note, in which he said: "Pollution ravages our planet, oozing inhabitability via air, soil, water and weather".

"The news of David's death is heartbreaking", she said in her statement.

The New York Times, which along with several other media outlets was sent a note from Buckel explaining his suicide, said the note urged people "to lead less selfish lives as a way to protect the planet". "It is being treated at the time as a suicide but it's still under investigation", a spokesperson said.

Buckel makes arguments in favor of gay marriage during oral arguments seeking marriage for same sex couples at the New Jersey Supreme Court in Trenton, New Jersey on February 15, 2006.

After Buckel retired from the organization, he reportedly became obsessed with environmental causes and, it would appear, left-wing dogma. "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". And he was marriage project director for Lambda Legal when that organization filed a lawsuit in Iowa, Varnum v. Brien, on behalf of same-sex couples in which the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in 2009 that denying same-sex couples the right to marry was unconstitutional, a decision that made Iowa the third state to legalize same-sex marriage.

Camilla Taylor, who is the current director of Lambda Legal, told the HuffPost that they will honor his life by "continuing to fight for equality".

"David was a brilliant legal visionary".

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He also served as lead attorney for Brandon Teena, a transgender man who was raped and murdered in Falls City, Neb., in 1993.

"David was an indefatigable attorney and advocate, and also a dedicated and loving friend to so many". We have lost a movement leader, a colleague, and a friend. "A lifetime of service may best be preserved by giving a life...."

He had recently worked with several environmental groups, according to HuffPost, including volunteering with the Added Value Red Hook Community Farm. As a senior organics recovery coordinator for an initiative hosted by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, he wrote about how Brooklynites were composting food with the help of solar and wind energy. A neighbor told the Times she had worked with Buckel on the Greenest Block in Brooklyn competition.

He also talked about the difficulty of improving the world even for those who make an effort to do so and noted that privilege was derived from the suffering of others.

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

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

He likened his self-immolation to protests by Tibetan monks making a powerful political statement against Chinese occupation, according to HuffPost.

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