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article imageGay rights activist Axel Axgil dies at 96

By Lynn Curwin     Oct 30, 2011 in World
Copenhagen - Axel Axgil, who battled throughout his life for gay rights and was one of the first people to enter into civil partnership with a same-sex partner, died on Saturday at the age of 96.
He died in a Copenhagen hospital as a result of complications from a fall.
Axgil, who was born Axel Lundahl-Madsen, was one of the founding members of the organization fighting for gay rights in 1948. The association, which is now known as LGBT Danmark , announced it would commemorate Axgil at its national meeting on November 5.
Axgil and his partner Eigil Eskildsen used letters from each of their given names to create a surname of their own.
When Denmark legalized same-sex partnership registration in 1989, the men became the first couple to enter into such a partnership. Deputy Mayor of Copenhagen Tom Ahlberg performed the ceremony for them and 10 other couples at city hall.
The full text of the ceremony can be read on the Cybercity website.
"I'm quite overwhelmed with all these people and the press," Axel said at the time, adding that "It's overall very beautifully put together."
LGBT Danmark reported that when Axgil was first unveiled as a homosexual he was kicked off of the Justice Foundation and the City Council's Youth Committee, as well as being terminated from his job. He
Axel and Eigil were imprisoned at one time for publishing photos of nude men.
"You have to be impressed by the colossal enthusiasm Axel Axgil has shown throughout his entire life for helping other homosexuals," Yahoo News quoted LGBT Danmark spokeswoman Vivi Jelstrup as saying. "Regardless of how hard they were hit themselves, he and Eigil tirelessly worked on."
The San Francisco Chronicle quoted her as saying: "But Axel Axgil was a modest man who never cast himself as a lonely warrior. He always underscored that there were many involved in the work and that it was a common cause."
Eigil Axgil died in September 1995 at the age of 73.
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