TIME: The Supreme Court Hasn’t Made Up Its Mind — But America Has


As the Supreme Court hears arguments on pivotal same-sex marriage cases
this week, TIME releases two separate covers — “Gay Marriage Already
Won.” — each featuring an intimate portrait of a committed gay couple:
one male, one female.

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.”

See the covers here and attached:

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.

He writes, “Yesterday’s impossible now looks like tomorrow’s
inevitable…. What’s most striking about this seismic social shift—as
rapid and unpredictable as any turn in public opinion on record—is that
it happened with very little planning. In fact, there was
a lot of resistance from the top. Neither political party gave a hint
of support before last year, nor was marriage part of the so-called
homosexual agenda so worrisome to social-­conservative leaders….
Instead, the impetus has come from disparate forces in
seemingly unconnected realms: courtrooms, yes, but also hospitals,
nurseries, libraries and soundstages. The rise of same-sex marriage from
joke to commonplace is a story of converging strands of history.”


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 LA and
are engaged. Sarah Kate Ellis-Henderson and Kristen
Ellis-Henderson are the female couple; they are legally married in New
York state, and have two children.

Read more about the cover shoot: http://ti.me/YVxDPq

TIME last featured split cover images for the November 12, 2012 issue,
which had three separate covers: one on Hurricane Sandy which ran in the
Northeast U.S., and two different reversible covers on the 2012

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