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Getting Married in Denmark is a popular choice for couples from all over the world and is also one of Europe’s – if not the world’s – top destinations for LGBTQ+ couples to get married.
Now, that’s not to say that there aren’t a number of other pretty fabulous wedding destinations in this big wide world we live in where you as an LGBTQ+ couple can go to get married, and let’s face it, probably a bit warmer too! 😉
Denmark’s forward thinking approach is at the forefront of Denmark’s identity, is a huge source of pride for the Danes and a beacon of hope and light for those who sadly live in countries where equality and rights simply do not exist for those within the LGBTQ+ community.
So, we want to celebrate and rejoice Pride and all things LGBTQ+.
Then jump to the bottom of this article and find out why – and importantly how!
Want to know all the nitty gritty details, then keep on reading! 😉
70 Years of LGBTQ+ Danish History
So where did it all begin for LGBTQIA+ rights in Denmark?
You might think it started back when same sex couples could officially become registered partners in 1989 but no, it goes back much, much further than this. The fight for gay rights began in Denmark in the 1930s, when sex between two adult men was decriminalised.
Following this in 1948, and inspired by the UN’s ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights’, The Forbundet af 1948 (League of 1948) was formed.
The League of 1948 was a group set up by a man called Axel Axgil and its purpose was to form an alliance of people who were in solidarity with gay and bisexual people; to lobby for gay rights as well as to offer help and support with any problems or difficulties that gay and bisexual people might encounter.
Through the following few decades The League of 1948 membership grew and it continued to challenge the boundaries and prejudices in place for the LGBTQ+ community in Denmark.
Then in the 1960s the Stonewall Inn riots in New York marked the start of a revolution in the struggle for gay liberation around the world. To mark this incredible fight for equal rights, these revolutionary riots are remembered and celebrated every year with what we all know as Pride.
The Danish government began to really sit up and take notice and this started to filter through the new legislations being made for gay rights.
To name just a few of the important milestones that have taken place over the years…
- 1930s – Sex between two adult men was decriminalised.
- 1940s – The League of 1948 was formed.
- 1950s – The world’s first successful gender modification operation took place.
- 1980s – Discrimination laws were altered to include sexual orientation were first brought in in the 1980s, further being built upon and expanded in the 1990s.
- 1989 – Registered partnerships for same sex couples were made legal.
Rather beautifully and poetically, Axel Axgil and his partner of 40 years Eigil Axgil were one of the first couples to legally have a registered partnership in Denmark, alongside 10 other same sex couples.
- 2010 – Gay couples are given the same adoption rights as same sex couples.
- 2012 – Gender neutral marriage is made legal.
- 2022 – There is still work to be done to improve LGBTQ+ inclusivity by Denmark’s government… to name just one example, it’s not clear how protected the rights of LGBTQ+ asylum seekers are. BUT, so much positive work has been done in Denmark in the last 90 years for LGBTQ+ rights, and this can only keep on growing, expanding and evolving.
These were all huge moments for the LGBTQ+ community as Denmark firmly cemented its role as a model for gay rights around the world!
What is Pride?
Pride started over 50 years ago, in New York City, USA. As is sadly often the way with revolutions, it started with fear, violence and pain from oppressors. And a burning desire for those at the receiving end to rise up and fight to end it.
You may well have heard of the Stonewall riots? When the police raided a bar called The Stonewall Inn in a gay area of New York twice in one week, resulting in violent homophobic beatings of those inside the bar.
The police regularly raided gay bars in the area and this second raid of the The Stonewall Inn set light to a rage within the gay community and the Stonewall riots began.
People all over the world sat up and took notice, joining in with demonstrations and raising awareness for the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community. And thus Pride was born and is now celebrated worldwide.
Pride in Denmark
Denmark’s Pride celebrations take place in August. It is called Copenhagen Pride, is held throughout the city of Copenhagen and sees the majority of the city transformed into a hub of LGBTQIA+ celebrations, performances, education and information.
Because of Denmark’s rich and inclusive history with gay rights and equality, the celebrations in Denmark are huge. Freedom and human rights often find themselves to be at the forefront of the festival’s point of focus and, oh my goodness, do we do Pride well?!
The colours of the Rainbow Flag adorn the city, from flag poles, walls, hanging out of windows, on bumper stickers, you name it, Copenhagen shows its Pride off with conviction and, well, pride!
As well as being surrounded by colours and music, you will be educated and occasionally shocked. But then, inequalities and injustice are still highly prevalent around the LGBTQ+ community and it is always shocking.
Why is Denmark the Easiest Country for Foreign LGBTQ+ Couples to Get Married?
Denmark is very well known as being one of the easiest countries for foreign couples to get married, no matter your background, circumstances, history, sexuality, race or religion.
More than 15,000 couples travel to Denmark every single year to get married here and there are several reasons as to why this is.
The amount of documentation that is required from couples is extremely slim compared to the documentation that is required in a lot of other countries.
For example, birth certificates are not required and it’s possible to get married here with just a tourist Visa (for those travelling from countries where a Visa is required).
The bureaucratic process is also very straightforward. There is one central government department that processes marriage application requests and this ‘Agency of Family Law’ (the AFL for short) aims to respond to all applications within 5 working days of an application being submitted.
This is no mean feat when you consider they are handling up to 15,000 marriage applications every year!!
The wedding industry in Denmark is geared towards welcoming huge numbers of couples each year. There are florists, bakeries, photographers, hair & make up and more. These are all services that are provided to make sure that couples experience the very best of Denmark during their elopement.
On top of all this, Denmark is an incredible country for a great many reasons. It is full of culture, history, amazing places to see / things to do and we think one of the most important things that makes it such an amazing place to visit is its people.
The Danish and those that choose to reside here are open, warm, kind and welcoming to ALL and for anyone getting married in Denmark, but especially for LGBTQ+ couples, we truly believe a wedding here will hold a special place in your heart for the rest of your lives.
What Does an LGBTQ+ Marriage in Denmark involve?
As an LGBTQ+ couple, you will be required to go through exactly the same process as any couple wanting to get married here.
You will need to make sure you have the correct documentation ready and in order before making your application. Once you have all your documentation in order, you will be required to make your marriage application to the Agency of Family Law who will assess your documentation before approving your application for marriage.
Once you have received your approval you are then able to book your ceremony with the town hall of your choice.
The process is, compared to many other countries around the EU and beyond, very simple and this is why, alongside Denmark’s positive & rich LGBTQ+ history, Denmark has become such a hugely popular destination for LGBTQ+ couples from all over the world.
Here at Getting Married in Denmark we have helped a great many LGBTQ+ couples organise their wedding in Denmark. As an agency firmly rooted in the wedding community here, we are extremely dedicated to the role we have in helping each and every one of our couples. We have helped over 5000 couples since 2014, all with a rich variety of backgrounds and circumstances from all over the world and we would love to help you!
If you’d like to know more about a wedding in Denmark at any time of the year and at any location, what documents would be required from you or even just to ask a few questions about how the process works, please do get in touch with us, we would be delighted to hear from you.