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    After One Year of Marriage

    reverendCarl Hungerford and Andy Dvorak married June 6–a year ago–during Pride month! I spoke with them then, and again this week to see what’s changed.

    Rev. Elizabeth River: Has being married changed you in any noticeable way? 

    Carl: Yes, being married reminds me that we are truly committed to each other in a way that we just weren’t before. It’s a great feeling!

    Andy: Recognizing Carl as my husband, public acknowledgement of our commitment, and legal marriage equality feel so good and right. Looking at my ring, I smile and am grateful for not only finding one another but also for being able to marry–legally.

    Rev. Elizabeth River: Any thoughts about becoming parents? I bet all the people who know and love you tell you that you’d be wonderful dads!

    Carl: Hmm… .We’ve talked about becoming parents, but haven’t made any definite plans. One barrier is the very high cost of living, especially housing, in the Bay Area. Raising kids could be great, but I think we don’t feel we need kids to feel fulfilled as a couple, either.

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    Andy: Yes, if we do decide to have a family, we will plan rigorously—we’d have the added expense of adoption or surrogacy.  Carl and I laugh about my mom’s story about how my parents had to quit a bowling league at $25 a month so they could afford to have me—which in the Bay Area is like two lattes, right? More like the price of two SUVs today!

    Rev. Elizabeth River: Outside of your careers, do you have any social concerns, including LGBT issues, where you want to make a difference in the world, things you want to give your time and energy to? Is there anything similar that calls to you both, or do you have separate causes that concern you? How are you responding to them?

    Carl: As a hospice nurse–a job I love–I’ve become interested in broader healthcare issues like advance directives, and the financial struggles many people face as they age. That’s a direction I may move in.

    Andy: Carl and I share a common interest in being respectful of all people. I switched careers from flight attendant to bus driver and I greet everybody who boards my bus with a “Good morning, how are you?” And when they leave: “Have a nice day!” This isn’t spectacular, but it’s important to me. I’ve seen people from the neglected populations come to tears because they’re not used to kindness, to being acknowledged.  Having a conversation with them, I’ve realized that all people are the same whatever their income level, education or housing situation. Recently I’ve been driving a bus that many homeless take to get to the shelter; I always offer help with how to get to the shelter. I love what I do.

    Rev. Elizabeth River: Oh yes, you are two of the kindest men I know! The Dalai Lama says: “There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy.  My own brain, my own heart is the temple; the philosophy kindness.”

    And Carl, I can’t help but mention that while we worked together in hospice care, I saw with what care and tenderness you treated your hospice patients and their spouses and partners. You communicate with them so clearly and compassionately. You will be a great blessing to elders helping them with financial and health care directives as well!

    Any comments on love? 

    Carl: Yes.

    Andy: I love you, Carl.

    Carl: I love you too, Andy.

    Reverend Elizabeth River is an ordained interfaith minister and wedding officiant in the North Bay. Please visit www.marincoastweddings.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Marin-Coast-Weddings-Rev-Elizabeth-River-Wedding-Officiant-841159955975880/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel