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Axel and Eigil Axgil
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    Danish gay rights activists and first gay couple to enter into a registered partnership anywhere in the world (October 1, 1989)
    Took the surname Axgil, a combination of their given names
    Birth names were Axel Lundahl-Madsen (April 3, 1915-October 29, 2011) and Eigil Eskildsen (1922-September 22, 1995)
    Founded F-48 or Forbundet af 1948 (The Association of 1948), Denmark's first gay rights organization
    Eigil died of heart failure at age 73
    Axel died of natural causes at age 96
    Some reports state their combined surname was an expression of their commitment, others claim it was an act of defiance.
    In 1955 they were arrested and charged with 'speculation in lust' for distributing non-sexual photographs of male nudes (Axel spent 1½ years in prison, Eigil got one year).
    Danish law reads that they were the first gay couple to be united in a 'registered partnership,' not a 'marriage.'
    Lost in the hoopla was the fact that 10 other male couples were married at Copenhagen's city hall right after them.
    Years after they legally united, they still found it necessary at times to refer to one another as a 'friend.'
    Because even the word 'homosexual' was taboo back in the day, they compromised by calling their gay rights group the Association of 1948.
    By 1951 their organization branched out to Norway and Sweden.
    They operated a straight and gay-friendly bed and breakfast in northern Denmark.
    In 1985 the F-48 proudly changed its name to the Danish National Association of Gays and Lesbians.
    Their tireless efforts came to fruition when they happily and legally exchanged vows on October 1, 1989, with worldwide press coverage.
    Shortly before he died, Eigil was in a hospital bed (with Axel a constant visitor) when a doctor asked who he was, and Eigil triumphantly explained, 'Him? He's my husband.'
    They were together for 46 years until Eigil's passing in 1995.

Credit: Scar Tactics


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