Axel Axgil, (born 3 April 1915) and Eigil Axgil (1922-1995) were Danish gay activists and a longtime couple. 20 years ago, on October 1, 1989, Denmark was the first country in the world to recognize the registered partnership for same-sex couples. As the founder of the first Danish association for Gays and Lesbians in 1948 and a longtime strong defender of LGBT human rights, Axel Axgil became the first man in the world to enjoy the privilege of having his love for his male partner Eigil Axgil declared as legal in the Copenhagen city hall. They adopted the shared surname, Axgil, a combination of their given names, as an expression of their commitment.
Inspired by the 1948 UN Declaration of Human Rights, Axel and Eigil 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 both Sweden and Norway. In 1985, F-48 became the Danish National Association of Gays and Lesbians (LBL). The couple also launched the first ever magazine for members of an association for homosexuals called Vennen (The Friend).
Axel Axgil was also the co-founder of the International Homosexual World Organization in 1954. Due to his openness about his sexual orientation, Axel Axgil was persecuted by the authorities and the media, and during the period of a widespread demonization and persecution of homosexuals in Denmark in the 1950’s Axel Axgil was arrested and sentenced to jail for one year because he had distributed erotic materials. The 93 year old Axel Axgil will speak in the opening ceremony at the World Outgames International Conference on LGBT Human Rights in Copenhagen.