Axel Axgil, who fought to have his gay relationship recognized by the Danish government, has died at the age of 96, the AP reported.

Axgil was a co-founder of LGBT Danmark, one of the oldest gay rights groups in Europe.

The group, established in 1948, announced that Axgil had died in a hospital in Copenhagen on Saturday from complications arising from a fall.

Axgil, who was born Axel Lundahl-Madsen, and his partner Eigil were among the 11 couples to inaugurate Denmark's civil unions law in 1989, becoming the first gay and lesbian couples in the world to be recognized with nearly the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts.

The men combined their first names to create the surname Axgil. Eigil Axgil (born Eigil Eskildsen) died in 1995.

“Axel Axgil was a modest man who never cast himself as a lonely warrior,” LGBA Danmark spokeswoman Vivi Jelstrup said. “He always underscored that there were many involved in the work [of gay rights in Denmark] and that it was a common cause.”

Denmark will consider a gay marriage law next year.