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Copenhagen gets its 'gay square' after all

After three failed attempts, area next to Town Hall is given the name Rainbow Square


Deputy mayor says name change will send a clear signal to the world about city's support of LGBT community (Photo: Colourbox)

February 7, 2014
10:08

by Justin Cremer


Copenhagen is getting a Rainbow Square after all.

After three unsuccessful attempts to give a former car park adjacent to City Hall an LGBT-themed name, a majority of City Council agreed yesterday on the name Regnbuepladsen (the Rainbow Square).

“I’m pleased that there is now a broad political agreement on the wish to hail the liberal spirit of Copenhagen and the city’s role in the fight for equal rights for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and the transgendered,” the city’s deputy mayor for technical and environmental affairs, Morten Kabell (EL), said in a press release.

Previous names shot down
The square was originally to be named after Axel Axgil, who founded the nation's first gay rights group – now called LGBT Denmark – and in 1989 was the first Dane to enter into a civil partnership. He died in 2011 aged 96.

The name was dropped, however, after allegations surfaced that Axgil had a connection to Nazi groups and was implicated in paedophilia.

READ MORE: Axel Axgil dropped as square name

Keen to keep the theme, the council then proposed Hannah Bjarnhof, a lesbian actress, but LGBT Denmark argued she wasn’t appropriate as she wasn’t a significant cultural figure.

Regnbuepladsen was then suggested, but was first voted down, with some within City Council arguing that the square didn’t need to be named.

But yesterday Socialdemokraterne came around on the issue and voted to give the city a gay-themed square.

Deputy mayor: "A clear signal from Copenhagen"
Kabell said the name change will tell the world that Copenhagen supports gay rights.

“In many countries gays, lesbians, bisexuals and the transgendered face terrible discrimination,” he said. “Look at Russia, which is currently hosting the Olympics, or at an African country like Uganda where homosexuality is punished by life in prison. It is completely crazy. There are many fights to fight internationally, and the name Rainbow Square is a clear signal from Copenhagen.”



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