Axel and Eigil Axgil

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Eigil and Axel Axgil, in 1950

Axel Axgil (3 April 1915 – 29 October 2011) and Eigil Axgil (24 April 1922 – 22 September 1995) were Danish gay activists and a longtime couple. They were the first gay couple to enter into a registered partnership anywhere in the world following Denmark's legalisation of same-sex partnership registration in 1989, a landmark legislation which they were instrumental in bringing about. They adopted the shared surname, Axgil, a combination of their given names, as an expression of their commitment.

Biography[edit]

Axel, born Axel Lundahl-Madsen, and Eigil, born Eigil Eskildsen, inspired by the 1948 UN Declaration of Human Rights, together with several friends, founded F-48 or Forbundet af 1948 (The Association of 1948), Denmark's first gay rights organization. By 1951, F-48's membership had grown to 1,339 and there were branches in Sweden and Norway. In 1985, F-48 became the Danish National Association of Gays and Lesbians (Landsforeningen for Bøsser og Lesbiske, Forbundet af 1948 or LBL). The couple launched a magazine, Vennen (The Friend).

In 1989, Denmark became the first nation in the world to recognize registered partnerships for same-sex couples, nearly equal to (opposite-sex) marriage. On October 1, 1989, the Axgils and 10 other Danish couples were married by Tom Ahlberg, the deputy mayor of Copenhagen, in the city hall, accompanied by worldwide media attention. The Axgils had been a couple for 40 years. In 2013, Axel Axgil was named with online resources as an LGBT History Month Icon.[1]

Deaths[edit]

Eigil Axgil died on September 22, 1995 at the age of 73.

Axel Axgil died on October 29, 2011 at the age of 96.

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