As the U.S. Supreme Court considers arguments on pivotal same-sex marriage cases this week, TIME magazine will release two separate covers declaring, “Gay Marriage Already Won” — each featuring an intimate portrait of a committed gay couple: one male, one female.
In his cover story, TIME’s David Von Drehle reports that recent polls show that same-sex marriage is now embraced by half or more of all Americans, with support among young voters running as high as 4 to 1.
“Yesterday’s impossible now looks like tomorrow’s inevitable,” writes Drehle.
Award-winning photographer Peter Hapak shot the split-run cover portraits for TIME.
Russell Hart and Eric LaBonte are the male couple featured on the cover; they are legal domestic partners living in Los Angeles and are engaged. Sarah Kate Ellis-Henderson and Kristen Ellis-Henderson are the female couple, who are legally married in New York state, and have two children.
TIME Managing Editor Rick Stengel writes, “Whatever the Supreme Court decides, it seems clear that the majority of Americans feel marriage is a civil right and that denying that right to people because of their sexual orientation is a violation of equal protection under the law…”
“We had a long debate in our offices about this week’s cover images of two same-sex couples. Some thought they were sensationalist and too in-your-face. Others felt the images were beautiful and symbolized the love that is at the heart of the idea of marriage. I agree with the latter, and I hope you do too,” said Stengel, in a statement.