FILE - In this Feb. 15, 2006, file photo, Attorney David S. Buckel at the New Jersey Supreme Court in Trenton, N.J. Buckel, a well-known gay rights lawyer and environmental advocate burned himself to death on April 14, 2018.
FILE - In this Feb. 15, 2006, file photo, Attorney David S. Buckel at the New Jersey Supreme Court in Trenton, N.J. Buckel, a well-known gay rights lawyer and environmental advocate burned himself to death on April 14, 2018.

A renown gay rights lawyer set himself on fire and burned to death in a New York City park to protest what he said is the destruction of the environment.

Joggers and cyclists found the charred body of David Buckel Saturday in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. He apparently soaked his body with gasoline.

A nearby suicide note said he hopes his death will draw attention to the need to protect the Earth.

"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 note read, according to The New York Times.

Buckel was 60 years old and one of the preeminent gay rights attorneys in the United States. He argued cases in favor of gay marriage and against what had been the Boy Scouts' ban on homosexual members.

Buckel's best-known case was Brandon v. County of Richardson, in which the sheriff's office of a Nebraska county was found liable for not protecting the life of a young transgender man who was murdered.

The case became the basis of the Academy Award-winning film "Boys Don't Cry."