David S. Buckel, a ferocious LGBT rights litigator, took his own life on Saturday, April 14, 2018, for a close cause near and dear to his heart.
60-year-old Buckel committed suicide by lighting himself on fire near Prospect Park West in Brooklyn on Saturday morning. As if the prominent lawyer’s suicide wasn’t shocking enough when police uncovered the suicide letter, the motive of his death added an additional shock.
Reported by The New York Times, “Mr. Buckel left a note in a shopping cart not far from his body and also emailed it to several news media outlets, including The New York Times.”
Mr. Buckel wrote in the email to The New York Times, “’Pollution ravages our planet, oozing inhabitability via air, soil, water and weather. 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 New York Times article goes onto wrote, “In his note, which was received by The Times at 5:55 a.m., Mr. Buckel discussed the difficulty of improving the world even for those who make vigorous efforts to do so.”
“Mr. Buckel was the lead attorney in Brandon v. County of Richardson, in which a Nebraska county sheriff was found liable for failing to protect Brandon Teena, a transgender man who was murdered in Falls City, Neb. Hilary Swank won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Mr. Teena in the 1999 movie Boys Don’t Cry.”
“While serving as marriage project director and senior counsel at Lambda Legal, a national organization that fights for the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, Mr. Buckel was the strategist behind important same-sex marriage cases in New Jersey and Iowa.”
“Friends said that after he left the organization, Mr. Buckel became involved in environmental causes, which he alluded to in his note as the reason he decided to end his life by self-immolation with fossil fuels.”
Click here to read more of The New York Times article.