Bay Area gay rights pioneer honored at funeral

September 6, 2013 7:13:17 PM PDT
The funeral Friday for a Bay Area gay rights pioneer turned into an only-in-San Francisco type of event.

It was a packed house at Grace Cathedral Friday morning for the service for Jose Sarria. In 1961, Sarria rocked the San Francisco political scene when he became the first openly-gay man to run for supervisor.

"For those of us in the gay community lucky enough to be in public office, he really blazed a trail and we all owe him a huge debt of gratitude," San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener said.

Sarria later founded the gay rights organization "Imperial Court." He left them very specific instructions for his funeral.

Women had to wear black full-length mourning gowns with veil and crown. Men had to wear dark suits with white gloves, and also a crown.

Sarria was 90-years-old.