Eigel (left) and Axel on their wedding day | 1989 | Public domain | 14438
Gay Activist is sad to learn of the passing of pioneer gay rights stalwart Axel Axgil of Denmark, aged 96. Axgil died in a hospital in Copenhagen on Saturday following complications from a fall. Axgil, born Axel Lundahl-Madsen, was a founding member of LGBT Danmark in 1948, which makes it one of the oldest gay organisations in Europe.
In the 1950s, both were sentenced on pornography charges to short prison terms for running a gay modeling agency that issued pictures of naked men. The men melded their first names into a new surname, Axgil, and used it in a public show of defiance. On Oct. 1, 1989, he and his partner Eigil were able to exchange vows as Denmark became the first country to allow gays to enter civil unions. Eigil Axgil died in 1995.
Updated 23 November 2014: The original source article in the Washington Post is no longer available.