LGBTQ Civil Rights Lawyer Sets Self on Fire in ‘Protest Suicide’


  • A prominent attorney known for his work in gay rights and environmental advocacy set himself on fire in a Brooklyn park on Saturday.
  • David Buckel’s body was found near Prospect Park’s baseball fields by civilians passing through the New York park.
  • A handwritten suicide note said that he killed himself as a protest against fossil fuels.

David Buckel, 60, is a well-known LGBTQ civil rights lawyer who led lawsuits to legalize same-sex marriage. He committed suicide by burning himself on Saturday morning.

The New York Police Department said they received a report about a severely burned individual found in a Brooklyn park. Buckel was pronounced dead at around 6:30 a.m EST.

“I am David Buckel and I just killed myself by fire as a protest suicide. I apologize to you for the mess,” according to a handwritten suicide note, reported by the New York Daily News.

Another note, found near his body inside an envelope marked “For the police,” was also emailed to local news outlets.

“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,” Buckel wrote.

“I hope it is an honorable death that might serve others,” he concluded.

Buckel made sure first responders could identify him by stapling his business card to the hand-written suicide note. The second note was neatly typed, detailing his reasons why he committed suicide.

“Pollution ravages our planet, oozing inhabitability via air, soil, water and weather,” Buckel wrote in an email. “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.”

Aside from being an LGBTQ civil rights lawyer, Buckel was also a well-known environmental activist. He worked as the senior organics recovery coordinator with the NYC Compost Project, based at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

“The news of David’s death is heartbreaking. David was an indefatigable attorney and advocate, and also a dedicated and loving friend to so many,” said Camilla Taylor of Lambda Legal. “He will be remembered for his kindness, devotion, and vision for justice.”

Source: NY Daily News

6 thoughts on “LGBTQ Civil Rights Lawyer Sets Self on Fire in ‘Protest Suicide’

  1. Quite ironic that this individual, who protested the use of fossil fuels, used a flammable substance which, more likely than not, was a fossil fuel. His belief that this “honorable death” would lead others to think about the use of these fuels is sadly misplaced, he will be remembered by his circle of friends, and ignored by the rest of history. Case in point, the immolated monks of Vietnam some fifty plus years ago
    As an attorney he could have done much more positive work for what he believed in. He must have been a tortured soul!

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