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Dublin: 11 °C Thursday 21 February, 2019
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New York gay rights lawyer burns himself to death in environmental protest

60-year-old David Buckel’s remains were found by passersby in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.

A stock photo of Brooklyn's Prospect Park.
A stock photo of Brooklyn's Prospect Park.
Image: Shutterstock

A WELL-KNOWN GAY rights lawyer and environmental advocate burned himself to death in New York City yesterday in a grisly protest against ecological destruction.

The charred remains of 60-year-old David Buckel were found by passers-by in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. Police said he was pronounced dead at about 6.30am.

Various US media are reporting that they understand the act to be related to humans polluting the planet and risking endangering the planet as a result.

Buckel was the lead attorney in a lawsuit involving Brandon Teena, a transgender man who was murdered in Nebraska. Hilary Swank won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Teena in the 1999 movie Boys Don’t Cry.

Buckel 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.

Susan Sommer, a former Lambda Legal attorney who is now the general counsel for the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice in New York City, told the Times that Buckel “was all about justice, but he was also all about what it means to be human”.

Sommer added:

He was a very smart and methodical lawyer. He knew his craft and his trade and was strategic in how to build the blocks toward a sweeping victory.

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Associated Press

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