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NEW YORK, New York, April 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – An influential pro-LGBT lawyer and strategist doused himself with fossil fuels and burned himself to death on Saturday morning as part of an environmental protest. Some are calling his suicide a sign of “mental illness.”

The lawyer was David Buckel, a 60-year-old who previously worked as the Marriage Project Director for Lambda Legal, a law firm that specializes in cases related to transgenderism, homosexuality, and same-sex “marriage.”

Buckel was openly gay and leaves behind a college-aged daughter, Hannah. He and his partner “co-parented Hannah with another couple, Rona and Cindy Vail,” the New York Daily News reported.

A kindergarten teacher on a morning jog was one of the people who came across Buckel’s body in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.

Buckel left a suicide note in a shopping cart near where his charred body was found, according to the New York Times, and also emailed a statement to media outlets.

“My early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves,” he wrote to the New York Times. “Pollution ravages our planet, oozing inhabitability via air, soil, water and weather.”

The note said he “wanted his death to lead to increased action,” the Times reported. Buckel wrote, “Honorable purpose in life invites honorable purpose in death.”

“Buckel compared his death to that of Tibetan monks who have committed suicide in a similar manner to protest Chinese rule over the region,” Fortune reported.

'Mental illess issue'

Actor James Woods tweeted that Buckel’s suicide was a mental health issue, not an environmental policy one.

Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences, a fall 2016 special report in The New Atlantis, synthesized data related on homosexuality. Using data from academic studies, the report says that “members of the non-heterosexual population are estimated to have…roughly double the risk of depression” than the heterosexual population. They are at “nearly 2.5 times the risk of suicide.”

Camilla Taylor, Lambda Legal’s Director of Constitutional Litigation and Acting Legal Director, called the news of Buckel’s death “heartbreaking” but said the pro-LGBT group would “honor” his legacy by “continuing his fight for a better world.”

“We have lost a movement leader, a colleague, and a friend,” said Taylor.

Buckel was the strategist behind the cases that legalized same-sex “marriage” in New Jersey and Iowa. He had moved on to environmental advocacy and was apparently distraught about the Trump administration.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255