The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in two cases that will determine the fate of same-sex marriage in America earlier this week. Their decision won’t come for months, but TIME magazine has declared victory in the eyes of the American public. Naturally, the publication featured two covers putting gay marriage front and center.

Photographer Peter Hapak
snapped real life couples for the cover and inside editorial. The one above featuring two men kissing are film and television set designer Eric LaBonté & his domestic partner Russell Hart, a hair salon owner. The two live in Los Angeles and have been together for seven years and engaged since 2010.

“My parents have been married for 45 years and I always knew that was something that I wanted. I want our children to say, ‘My daddies are married.’ We wanted to feel like a complete package.” – Eric LaBonté (right)

The images on the cover and in the issue are beautiful and make a bold statement. According to magazine chief Rick Stengel, there was much internal debate on to publish the covers or not. Here’s what he revealed via an editor’s note published in Politico’s Playbook:

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

“Sarah and I got married shortly after equality passed in New York State. It’s difficult to put into words what it felt like to validate our relationship that way in front of our family, friends, and neighbors. I often get choked up with emotion when trying to talk about it. Exhilarating. Justifying. Romantic. Amazing. None of those words individually captures it. Since becoming mothers, our tireless efforts for equality are more for our children than ourselves. We think of our kids on the playground with every other child they are growing up with – most have married parents. And now our children do too.” – Kristen Ellis-Henderson (left)

For more gorgeous pictures of real life couples, head over to www.time.com. To read the piece in Time, click here.