One of the earliest pioneers of the post-World War II homosexual rights movement, Axel Axgil, died on October 29, aged 96, following a fall.

Axgil was born Axek Lundahl-Madsen, but he and husband Eigil Axgil (born Eigil Eskildsen) combined their first names to make a new shared surname.

In 1948 the couple and several homosexual friends in Denmark formed the Association of 1948 after being inspired by that year’s UN Declaration of Human Rights.

Three years later, the organisation had more than 1300 members and chapters in Sweden and Norway.

In the 1950s, Axel and Eigil were sentenced to short prison terms for publishing a gay magazine that authorities deemed pornographic.

In 1985 the Association of 1948 was renamed the Danish National Association of Gays and Lesbians, and after Denmark became the first country in the world to legalise domestic partnerships in 1989, Axel and Eigil were among the first couples to get married in the Copenhagen City Hall.

When Eigil died in 1995, aged 73, the couple had been together for nearly half a century.

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