Time magazine’s new story on the same-sex marriage debate features two different cover photos: one with two men kissing and the other with two women kissing.

David Von Drehle’s cover story, “How Gay Marriage Won,” argues that regardless of what the Supreme Court decides, the tide has already turned on the marriage debate.

Time magazine gay marriage covers

Image source: Time magazine

“We had a long debate in our offices about this week’s cover images of two same-sex couples,” Time managing editor Rick Stengel wrote in an editor’s note. “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.”

From Time’s “Behind the Covers”:

To illustrate Von Drehle’s story, TIME invited same-sex couples in California and New York to share some intimate moments for photographer Peter Hapak. Two of these couples, Sarah Kate and Kristen Ellis-Henderson (married in 2011) and Russell Hart and Eric LaBonté (engaged since 2010), appear on our cover this week. (Newsstand editions will be divided between issues featuring the Ellis-Hendersons and those featuring Hart and LaBonté.)

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“As we were driving to the shoot, I thought, ‘I’m doing this because I want my kids to live boldly and loudly and see what it means to stand up for something,’” says Sarah Kate Ellis-Henderson, who has a son and a daughter with her wife Kristen. For Hart, the decision to participate in a TIME cover shoot about gay marriage was a symbol of his decision to fully own his identity. After coming out to a supportive family, Hart stepped back into the closet while he was in his 20s, fearful he would lose a job if his co-workers knew he was gay. “That was far more destructive and traumatic than coming out,” says Hart. “The experience let me know that whatever I do, my sexuality is a part of my identity and to deny it is to be doomed.”

Time is of course no stranger to eye-catching covers: last year it featured “breastfeeding mom” Jamie Lynne Grumet nursing her 3-year-old son, featured 35 illegal immigrants under the headline “We are Americans,” and more recently declared Sen. Marco Rubio “The Republican Savior.”