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  GREAT DANE

Danish Gay Activist Axel Axgil Dies At 96

He may not be a household name in the U.S.—even in gay households—but Axel Axgil, who passed away on Saturday at age 96, helped make his native Denmark the first country in modern history to grant domestic partnerships to gays and lesbians.

Born Axel Lundahl-Madsen, Axgil—at left in this photo from the 1940s—founded the Association of 1948 (later renamed LGBT Danmark) in 1948, when he and several friends were inspired by the UN Declaration of Human Rights released the same year. Though his work cost Axgil his job, the group’s numbers swelled to over 1,300 and branches opened in Norway and Sweden.

In 1955, Axgil and his partner, Eigil Eskildsen, were convicted on pornography charges for selling nude muscle pictures. (It was while they were in prison that the men merged their last names names into “Axgil.”)

After their release, the Axgils spent years lobbying the Danish government to legalize same-sex unions and, in 1989, Axel and Eigel (who died in 1995)  exchange vows under a new law that granted gay and lesbian couples most of the same rights as married heterosexuals.

 

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Oct 31, 2011
Tagged: , , , , , ,

  • 2 Comments
    • James
      James

      God Bless this man!

      Oct 31, 2011 at 11:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike
      Mike

      I am just glad that he lived long enough to hear the news this month that the state church, the Folkekirke, will grant gay marriages soon, probably in 2012. (Denmark was the first in the world to have civil unions but no marriage yet.)

      Hvil i fred vores ven.

      Oct 31, 2011 at 11:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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