San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus pays tribute to Sen. Feinstein

The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus sang a farewell song in the historic rotunda of City Hall in special sendoff honoring late Sen. Dianne Feinstein's work for the LGBTQ+ community.

Nearly 100 members, both chorus alumni and active singers, gathered to pay their respects in song.

The chorus has a long history with Sen. Feinstein, as she was present during their very first performance.

It was November 1978, just after the late senator assumed the mayorship. Supervisor Harvey Milk and then-Mayor George Moscone had just been assassinated. The chorus came together at the Polk Street steps of City Hall to perform for a candlelit vigil. Feinstein was in attendance.

The late senator was a beacon for women in politics and an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, pioneering the fight against HIV/AIDS, and voting to legalize gay marriage. 

She was no stranger to the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. 

45 years after they began, the singers returned to perform a tender goodbye during Feinstein’s lie-in.

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"To send her off in song, in this hallowed building, where so much history has happened… and so much landmark civil rights and human rights legislation started here and reverberated here to the rest of the country and the world, it’s a great honor," said Tom Paulino, Vice Chair for the Board of Directors of the San Francico Gay Men’s Chorus.

Paulino recalls beginning his political career as an intern for Senator Feinstein, later becoming a Staff Assistant for her San Francisco office.

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"Were it not for my time in her office I would not be where I am today," he said. "Our lives are incredibly touched by her and to send her off in this way is a great honor."

Following the performance, the procession began as the senator’s casket left City Hall.

The memorial service is closed to the public on Thursday afternoon.