Eigil and Axel Axgil leaving Copenhagen City Hall on Oct. 1, 1989
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A man, who entered into the world’s first same-sex union in Denmark, is gone. Axel Axgil, 96, died Saturday in Copenhagen, the Associated Press and Washington Post reported.

Axgil, who born as Axel Lundahl-Madsen, helped found LGBT Denmark in 1948. Axgil and partner, Eigil, married Oct. 1, 1989—when Denmark became the first nation to allow civil unions. Eigil Axgil, born Eigil Eskildsen, died in 1995 at age 73.

Axel and Eigil combined surnames as a sign of defiance, after serving short prison terms on pornography charges in the 1950s. Axel and Eigil ran a gay modeling agency, which distributed photos of nude men.

LGBT Denmark Spokeswoman Vivi Jelstrup said Axgil was, in many ways, a symbol of Denmark’s gay rights struggle. But Jelstrup stressed Axgil didn’t feel like a “lonely warrior.”

“He always underscored that there were many involved in the work and that it was a common cause,” she said.


new-jersey-marriage-equality-rallyNew Jersey could be forced to recognize gay marriage. A lawsuit heads to a judge—for the first time. State Superior Judge Linda Feinberg is expected to hear the suit Friday, according to the Associated and

Seven same-sex couples sued in June, claiming civil unions don’t offer equal protection. N.J. Attorney General Paula Dow believes the gay marriage issue has been resolved.

Five years ago, the N.J. Supreme Court ruled that the state must extend all legal rights and benefits to same-sex couples. But,the state wasn’t required to sanction gay marriage.

Legislators chose to create civil unions instead.

New Jersey photo: Jerry McCrea/The Star-Ledger