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Time Magazine: “Gay Marriage Already Won”

time magazine
As the Supreme Court considers its verdicts on the two marriage-equality cases, Time magazine devoted its cover to the issue with two covers depicting an intimate moment between same-sex couples. And yes, the couples are real: Sarah Kate Ellis-Henderson and Kristen Ellis-Henderson tied the knot in New York and are raising two children. California natives Russell Hart and Eric LaBonte (right) are waiting for same-sex marriage to be legal to get hitched.

“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,” writes managing editor Rick Stengel. “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.”
Photos: Peter Hapak

On:           Mar 28, 2013
Tagged: , , , , ,
    • Dionte

      When will these be available for purchase?

      Mar 28, 2013 at 10:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LadyL

      Lovely covers, but it would have been even nicer if one of the two couples had been black or brown or interracial to drive the point that LGBT issues are not a “white thing” as some people of color persist in believing. Otherwise, good job, Mr. Stengel.

      Mar 28, 2013 at 11:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dakotahgeo

      Congratulations, TIME, and thank you for taking a giant leap forward. The irreligious Right must be going through tons of Depends at this very moment, watching happy people!

      Mar 28, 2013 at 11:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • xamthor

      @LadyL: agreed. a little diversity would be nice.

      Mar 28, 2013 at 12:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ajai

      Agree with the diversity. The stark black and white looks a little foreboding. Color, a wider shot, and some softness would be more appealing. Kudos to the couples, though.

      Mar 28, 2013 at 12:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MuscleModelBlog.com

      As others said, more diversity would be nice as well. However, in my opinion, I think the “in-our-faceness” is nice. It makes a very bold statement.

      Mar 28, 2013 at 1:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • titansweet

      Awesome! Never thought I’d be alive to see this unraveling itself before my eyes! Blessed moments of sheer joy.

      Mar 28, 2013 at 2:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Teleny

      Within 40 years we’ve gone from hunted, persecuted, jailed and the asylum to legitimacy. Feeling good for our community, past martyrs and present day heroics!

      Mar 28, 2013 at 2:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • yaoming

      Are these real fouples or models? The women look kind of like porn, while the men look more authentic. Maybe it’s the eyeglasses.

      Mar 28, 2013 at 2:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • teammm

      As a black guy, yes I would have preferred to see at least one black person included. We need to do more to make gay people of color visible. It’s just not happening and it disheartens me underneath the pride I feel for the collective community.

      Mar 28, 2013 at 3:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • titansweet

      @teammm: I am not black and I am not white, but I am still heartened to see something happening, something positive. We have to strike layer by layer, someone has to gain the rights for us. Just as MLK was black, he began the fight and it was all “black” at that point, now those rights layer by layer have been granted to every minority of every color and race. For gays it will dwindle down starting with the “whites”.

      Mar 28, 2013 at 3:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • titansweet

      @yaoming: I supposed you did not read the caption under the cover? “And yes, the couples are real: Sarah Kate Ellis-Henderson and Kristen Ellis-Henderson tied the knot in New York and are raising two children. California natives Russell Hart and Eric LaBonte (right) are waiting for same-sex marriage to be legal to get hitched.”

      Mar 28, 2013 at 3:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams

      There is a massive debate currently underway in the comments on their online edition:


      Dive in if you dare!

      Mar 28, 2013 at 3:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Matt1961

      This is brilliant and it’s the perfect time to place this cover.

      It’s the media’s ‘normalization’ of gay topics that’s leading the charge to equality, and honestly nothing else. This is the type of saturation that we need to work toward to bring forth ‘the new normal’. Less Shock and Awe or in your face, more viewing as normal, which we are.

      Mar 28, 2013 at 4:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TinoTurner

      Leave it to the gays to complain about SOMETHING. Its TIME magazine….not some local rag, who cares if they’re white? Its a shocking/stunning/amazing cover and headline….and all you do is complain that its not a dark skin person? Jeezus, you’re all so miserable and filled with self hate, why can’t you just enjoy the moment that seems to be happening for EVERYONE amongst us.

      Mar 28, 2013 at 4:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Papi Balenciaga

      @TinoTurner: Chile please. The only negative comment I read on this article was yours.

      Mar 28, 2013 at 4:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian

      Time magazine is guilty of a homophobic double standard. Note how the lesbian kiss is open-mouthed but the kiss between the 2 guys is closed-mouthed. Time stinks.

      Mar 28, 2013 at 4:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • erasure25

      @Brian: Not sure if trolling or joking?

      Mar 28, 2013 at 4:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian

      Note also how the faces of the two men are almost obscured by the angle of the photo as well as by the glasses of one of the men. It’s as if the photographer (or Time’s editors) wished to avoid having to show it.

      Now contrast it with the one of the two women. There’s definitely a difference. Double standards like this prove that Time is not serious about the issue of gay rights.

      Mar 28, 2013 at 5:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams

      @Papi Balenciaga: The negative comment however was not directed at the article, but at some of the comments that appear to be looking a gift horse in the mouth.

      I agree with Tino – let’s just celebrate where we’ve got to so far. Otherwise it must leave a sour taste in the mouth of those who put their liberty on the line to back our cause, if everything they do gets nitpicked. I remember a gay-for-pay episode on Tyra Banks when a representative from the Advocate got stuck into straight porn actors who were willing to put their faces on television as doing gay porn, with life ending possibilities for all of them. One of them was married with three kids. I was just squirming every time the Advocate opened his mouth. He didn’t represent my views, but his views would be held to be my views, because as a publisher, he was speaking on behalf of all LGBT.

      I for one, would like to thank Time magazine. There, I’ve said it now.

      Mar 28, 2013 at 5:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • viveutvivas

      Let’s not count our chickens before they are hatched.

      Mar 28, 2013 at 6:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dixie Rect

      I look forward to seeing these on a magazine rack!

      Mar 28, 2013 at 6:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian

      It’s not nit-picking to point to the obvious double standard of Time magazine, especially if it’s a double standard based on homophobia or racism.

      Some of you are so desperate for straight approval, you come across as pathetic.

      Mar 28, 2013 at 6:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hillers

      Not if Monsignor Scalia has anything to say about it! Muah ha ha ha haaaa! *dons black statesman cap and drapes judge robes around himself before disappearing in a cloud of black smoke*

      Mar 28, 2013 at 6:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • balehead

      And now the battles between white LGBT’s and minority LGBT’s begins….

      Mar 28, 2013 at 9:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • balehead

      The men’s picture is obviously meant to be shameful…. shame on Time magazine!!!

      Mar 28, 2013 at 9:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LadyL

      @Papi Balenciaga: @Derek Williams: Really, Derek? A wistful mention that at least one of those four people was a person of color is “looking a gift horse in the mouth”? I don’t mean to start a fight here, honestly I don’t, but I take issue with that.
      I’m black and lesbian, and I live and work in overwhelmingly black, working-class urban neighborhoods where the resistance to marriage equality and gay rights–to gay anything–is especially strong. One reason for that seems to be that when blacks do see LGBT issues discussed in mainstream media it’s usually white spokespeople and/or white faces that are representing the cause. Which makes life just a wee bit harder for out black queers like me.
      So the point I was trying to make with my comment is that if visibility does indeed fuel acceptance–and by now we know it does–is it really asking so much that more black and brown faces are part of the picture?

      Mar 28, 2013 at 10:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LadyL

      @Papi Balenciaga: Sorry, Papi B–the above comment was not meant for you, originally I clicked reply to you to say thank you for your response to the obtuse TinoTurner. Apologies for the mix-up.

      Mar 28, 2013 at 10:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA

      I wish the Supreme Court justices were courageous enough to rule for equality without waiting for public opinion to evolve. Thank you, Time Magazine, for the encouragement and support.

      Mar 28, 2013 at 10:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LadyL

      @balehead: That is absolutely not true. I like the covers and I said so. To further point out that it would have been nice had Time been more racially inclusive, especially since they’ve offered alternate covers, is not race-baiting.
      Look, guys. It’a a given that we all want equality for ourselves and all of our LGBT brothers and sisters. But we’re not homogenized milk. We come from different places and our life experiences have formed us differently and given us different viewpoints. We should be able to express them here without being scolded like naughty children for it. I don’t have a problem with honest argument. But I have a big problem with being told that in the name of the cause I should never offer a dissenting point of view.

      Mar 28, 2013 at 10:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MMDD

      @Brian: Exactly. And am I the only one who noticed the women are shown kissing open mouth, while the guy’s mouths are tightly shut? Heck, that was the first thing that caught my eye. The women’s pic was purposely made more sensual.

      Mar 28, 2013 at 10:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MMDD

      @MMDD: Dammit…guys’ mouths, I meant to write. Hate it when I catch a mistake right after I hit the submit button.

      Mar 28, 2013 at 10:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LadyL

      @1EqualityUSA: Agreed. Some of the justices are obviously, willfully, obtuse on this issue (looking at you, Scalia) but others seem simply unable to summon the courage. I suppose it’s a generational thing. It was 1967–’67!–before the Supreme Court finally found the collective courage to rule laws forbidding interracial marriage unconstitutional.

      Mar 28, 2013 at 10:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dionte

      In real life everyone kisses the same and every kiss is magical and perfect.

      Mar 28, 2013 at 10:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • teammm

      @LadyL: You’re absolutely on point. But I wouldn’t hold it against @Derek, he seems not to understand the concept that visibility absolutely correlates to understanding, acceptance and education. The mainstream rarely portrays black lesbian women and even more black gay men. Like you, I love the covers, they’re symbolism and importance, but without acknowledging that gay people of color are right there with you in this struggle, you are leaving a lot of people behind in this community and not reaching key groups of people who can benefit from “seeing themselves” as gay white people do. I’m just saying. It’s a legitimate concern. That takes nothing away from these amazing covers.

      Mar 28, 2013 at 10:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • iBLOW

      I like the covers and yeah the covers are different, the girls more sensual but so what really we’ve got two different gay couples on the cover of Time Magazine, and the guys looks more classy anyway. And to the people complaining that there should have been more “diversity” if they had done a African American couple cover then LGBT Latinos would be complaining that they didn’t have a cover, ect. people know there aren’t only white LGBT couples in the world. Really people we aren’t making ourselves look good by getting the cover of Time Magazine and bitching about everything wrong with it.

      Mar 28, 2013 at 11:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ajai

      It’s an opinion. No need to argue, we can disagree and still be supportive. All perspectives are valid.

      Mar 28, 2013 at 11:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA

      LadyL, Thanks for being out and visible in a community that is resistant to, “gay anything.” That takes courage and self-determination. You may not even know how many you have helped by simply being out.

      Mar 28, 2013 at 11:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kieran

      Gay people have had heterosexuality pushed in-our-faces all our lives. Heterosexuals will manage to survive I’m sure.

      Mar 28, 2013 at 11:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LadyL

      @teammm: @1EqualityUSA: Thanks, guys.

      Mar 29, 2013 at 12:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mz.sam

      Its still amazing see certain commenters, whether subtle or not, continue to spew their bigoted venom on this site. Brothers and sisters let’s vet out these Trolls who don’t belong here.

      Mar 29, 2013 at 10:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams

      @LadyL: TO@LadyL: To me it’s like getting a brand new car for Christmas that is not your favourite colour, and then bitching about that to your parents instead of thanking them for the car.

      Obviously inclusivity is essential to break down stereotypes, and I have no idea why TIme chose only Caucasians to feature on the front cover. Maybe it’s to do with the fact that African Americans are reportedly more hostile than the white majority to marriage equality, maybe it was agonising what other minority racial group to choose from, or maybe it’s simply “let’s knock down one stereotype at a time” so the focus is solely on homosexuality and not diverted into race. The thing is, it’s LGBT on the front cover of Time, and the story is balanced, even arguably positive.

      A magazine of the reputation of Time I daresay would have given a lot of thought to this very matter, and yet we have people complaining about open mouths on the girls, and that their particular minority aren’t included in the picture.

      We cannot win every battle at once with a single photo. I’d like to celebrate this one small step as being a giant leap. I’m sorry that so many others see this photo as such a negative thing, but it’s a free country, and I can’t tell other people what to think, only what I think.

      Mar 29, 2013 at 10:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams

      @LadyL: I would also like to point out the risk that Time took by even putting kissing gay couples on their front cover, and by writing the story they did. The readership of Time would I strongly suspect, include a larger than average share of the conservative and anti-gay Religious Right. There’s not a question in my mind that Time switchboard will by now have had to suffer a meltdown of hate calls from such people, alongside tens of thousands of subscription cancellations, including NOM-friendly corporates and health care professionals etc. who include them in waiting rooms etc. They won’t want pictures of kissing gays staring up at their patients and their children. This edition will cost Time dearly, and I am amazed and impressed that they had the courage to print it.

      My one regret is that it has provoked the contempt and ingratitude of so many LGBT.

      Mar 29, 2013 at 11:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ajai

      There is one fact being addressed in this thread, and that is many in the LGBT population are underrepresented in media. This is not in dispute. Some people mentioned this concern, and it is valid. To criticize people for pointing this out is absurd, quite frankly. Are we not entitled to an opinion regarding aesthetics? Must we kiss Time magazines ass? Oh thank you thank you, Time, for including us Gays and Lesbians! We’re so grateful! Sorry, but that’s a little pathetic. We have a right to our opinions, it okay that you like the cover, nobody will criticize you for liking the cover. The perfect is not the enemy of the good, in this case. The next time you hear constructive criticism…take it…process it…listen. No need to be a dick about it.

      Mar 29, 2013 at 12:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MMDD

      @Derek Williams: Oh, come now. Ingratitude? Are we supposed to just look blindly at a magazine cover and fall all over ourselves with gushing gratitude just because it’s something “gay”? The fact is the women and the men are presented differently. As is usual in the media, the lesbians are sensualized/sexualized because we all know that lesbians are all about sex. The guys are not sensualized/sexualized AT ALL. That’s the biggest discrepancy here. And I’m sorry, but as long as I see double standards in the media, which I do over and over and over again, I will make remarks about them.

      Mar 29, 2013 at 12:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams

      @MMDD: and @Ajai: Perhaps if you communicate your scorn directly to Time, they will be enthused enough to penitently recall all the copies of the present edition accused of being monochromatic, discriminatory, from bookstores that haven’t already refused to sell it (and many have refused) and do a rerun to include every subset of the LGBT culture.

      I went to my local store to buy a copy, but it wasn’t on the shelves. Maybe you made the call already.

      Mar 29, 2013 at 12:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MMDD

      @Derek Williams: Get over yourself, Derek. Sarcasm doesn’t become you.

      Mar 29, 2013 at 1:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams

      @MMDD: But if Time accepted the criticisms and recalled all the copies to reissue with a more inclusive cover photograph, would you be satisfied?

      Mar 29, 2013 at 1:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MMDD

      @Derek Williams: This has nothing to do with my being satisfied or expecting them to recall the issue. I’m simply pointing out the differences in the way the couples have been depicted.

      Mar 29, 2013 at 1:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LadyL

      @Derek Williams: You seemed determined to take me to task for having had the temerity to allow as how I wish just one of those individuals on the Time covers looked a little more like me. Maybe I should also apologize for breathing the same air as you?
      Perhaps our life experiences are simply too different for you (and a few others here) to grasp my point. But when your formative years have taken place in a culture where historically the accepted standards (the “typical” American family/the beauty queen/the wholesome girl or boy next door/the All-American athlete) have left you invisible or separated out from the mainstream and the images you do grow up with that (intentionally or unintentionally) represent you are negative or stereotypical stock characters (the maid/the mammy/the pimp/the hooker/the drug addict/the fatherless youth headed for trouble/the gangbanger/the welfare queen) it takes a toll not just on your self-image but other people’s notions of who you are. You hunger to see yourself represented not merely more positively but more realistically, more inclusively. That is espeecially true when you are black AND gay.
      And I’m perplexed by your characterization of these covers, and the story they represent, as being so earth-scorchingly controversial that the editors of Time risk being arrested for indecency or run out of town. Time has always presented itself as a newsmagazine of record that strives to offer its readers (even its most conservative and reactionary readers–you know, those red-state dwellers who are downloading, purchasing and renting all that porn?) serious and culturally relevant topics.
      It’s 2013, Derek. By now even the most clueless and fainthearted have seen two men or two women kissing, somewhere. The editors took a gamble, sure, but not that big a gamble, trusting that for every cancellation there would be a new subscriber, for every angry letter or phone call there would be letters and phone calls (and emails and tweets) of support and thanks.

      Mar 29, 2013 at 4:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams

      @LadyL: I already acknowledged, and do acknowledge the worthiness of inclusivity as a goal. I know I cannot be you, nor vice versa. I am unable to say any more than you are, why TIme chose to present the cover in the format it did. I can only repeat that I believe they would have conscientiously considered all the alternatives that have been presented here, and *in good faith* selected an image bland enough for an America with a huge faith-based minority still opposed not only to same-sex marriage, but to homosexuality itself.

      In other words, deal with one prejuducial stereotype at a time. I can’t see any benefit at all in tearing to pieces the very first such cover that we’ve seen representing the LGBT demographic ‘in action’ on the front cover of Time, just because it doesn’t represent all the diversity that is within it.

      Mar 29, 2013 at 4:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA

      Our Time just came today and it was the gir’s! My spouse and I were pleased. LadyL, I hear you. When Maya Angelou felt discounted as a youth, she teamed up with others in New York and moved our country so mightily that she’s now part of the fabric, the culture, the books on our shelves, the poet speaking at a Presidential inauguration, a teacher, a thinker, and a beautiful, wonderful soul that has enhanced my mind and brought me joy. She’s not a lesbian that I’m aware of, but she was made to feel discounted and still rose above it. She was raped as a child and went through seven years of silence and overcame the muteness to be the voice of our Nation. Your day will come. I can tell by the way to structure your sentences that you are a contender. Represent.

      Mar 29, 2013 at 9:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA

      Still I Rise:
      You may write me down in history
      With your bitter, twisted lies,
      You may trod me in the very dirt
      But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
      Does my sassiness upset you?
      Why are you beset with gloom?
      ‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
      Pumping in my living room.
      Just like moons and like suns,
      With the certainty of tides,
      Just like hopes springing high,
      Still I’ll rise.
      Did you want to see me broken?
      Bowed head and lowered eyes?
      Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
      Weakened by my soulful cries.
      Does my haughtiness offend you?
      Don’t you take it awful hard
      ‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
      Diggin’ in my own back yard.
      You may shoot me with your words,
      You may cut me with your eyes,
      You may kill me with your hatefulness,
      But still, like air, I’ll rise.
      Does my sexiness upset you?
      Does it come as a surprise
      That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
      At the meeting of my thighs?
      Out of the huts of history’s shame
      I rise
      Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
      I rise
      I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
      Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
      Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
      I rise
      Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
      I rise
      Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
      I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
      I rise
      I rise
      I rise.
      (Dr. Maya Angelou)

      Mar 29, 2013 at 9:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA

      On the inside of Time, there are two black lesbians kissing (closed mouths) that encompasses two whole pages at the beginning of the article. They are very handsomely beautiful. Also, amazingly, at the very end of the mag is an short question and answer article featuring Maya Angelou. This Time really was a good issue. As for the covers, those are real life people, not models, so maybe that’s how they choose to kiss each other. Well, I’ve got to go work a stretch, so that I can pay taxes to a government that still doesn’t recognize me as being equal. (Hopefully this will change in June.) We should be allowed amended tax returns going all the way back to our domestic partnership. Thousands have been stolen from us by this unfair bigotry.

      Mar 30, 2013 at 8:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • viveutvivas

      The male kiss really doesn’t look like a very good kiss :)

      Mar 30, 2013 at 9:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LadyL

      @1EqualityUSA: Beautiful and fierce. And again, thanks.

      Mar 30, 2013 at 10:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brad

      I think Times prediction is a bit premature.

      Apr 2, 2013 at 10:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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