Denmark’s ‘Equal Love’ Photography Exhibition – 25 Years of Civil Partnership

Axel & Eigil

Axel and Eigil

The photography exhibition, Equal Love, which celebrates twenty-five years of registered partnerships in Denmark, is due to end today, 8th October, at 4 pm.

Titled Equal Love Silver Anniversary, Copenhagen 19892014, it has been running since September 30th at Copenhagen City Hall, where the first couple, Axel and Elgil, made their vows 25 years ago.

Fadil & Henri

Fadil & Henri

Kasper & Kaj

Kasper & Kaj

The team behind Equal Love asked for wedding pictures and rainbow family photos from all over the world, as a way of celebrating the birth of registered partnerships, which have been emulated since all around the globe. The BBC have now made a short documentary about the exhibition, speaking to one of the first couples, Ivan Larsen, a Lutheran minister, and Ove Carlsen, a psychologist.

Birgitte & Lenette

Birgette & Lenette

Søren Laursen, Chair of LGBT Danmark, says October 1st, 1989, was a day to remember.

“On that day Copenhagen Town Hall was crowded. It was a Sunday, and the town hall was supposed to be closed. But it was the day the law on registered partnership came into force. Therefore Copenhagen municipality decided to open the doors anyway to host the world’s first registrations: 11 gay couples became the world’s first registered partnerships.”

“The first couple to enter a registered partnership was Axel and Eigil Axgil. Back in 1948 Axel Axgil founded LGBT Denmark, then the League of 1948. It was a time of oppression and he suffered many difficulties personally. In 1989, in another time, he entered the first registered partnership with his long-time partner, Eigil Axgil.”

Axel & Elgil, Denmark's first gay couple to enter into a registered partnership, the precursor to same-sex marriage. [Image: LGBT Danmark]

Axel & Eigil, Denmark’s first gay couple to register their partnership (Photo: LGBT Danmark)

Lenna & Malene

Lenna & Malene

For a free web exhibition with more photographs of the happy day,  visit

Diversity Champions is an initiative of GLEN – the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network.


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