This gay couple were the first to tie the knot 26 years ago today

PinkNews logo with white background and rainbow corners

Years before most of the countries with same-sex marriage were even considering implementing it, one gay couple entered a civil union.

Axel and Eigil Axgil became the first couple to legally register their relationship in 1989, when Denmark allowed same-sex couples to do so.


The new law in Denmark gave gay couples “most rights of married heterosexuals, but not the right to adopt or obtain joint custody of a child”.

This came twelve years before the first country, the Netherlands, legalised same-sex marriage.

The couple said their vows in front of the deputy mayor of Copenhagen.


The couple co-founded Forbundet af 1948, The Association of 1948, following the UN Declaration of Human Rights.


Eigil Axgil died on 22 September 1995 at the age of 73. Axel died in 2011, aged 96.

In 2012, Denmark also passed its ‘marriage for all’ law, making marriage gender neural.