Change may be on the horizon as the Supreme Court heard two important cases revolving around marriage equality. TIME magazine has symbolized this change with two new cover photos of same-sex couples kissing and on the cover the magazine is declaring “gay marriage already won”. As reported by Entertainment Weekly on Thursday, the new covers not only makes a statement but may also cause some controversy.

The fact that TIME magazine is putting out the covers, taken by photographer Peter Hapak, is a victory in itself because it represents more than just talking about gay rights, it is a kiss on a major magazine that show’s love, relationship and the experience of marriage. According to the Atlantic Wire, “a kiss is also traditionally that thing that happens at the end of the wedding, when the vows have been spoken and the pronouncements have been made.”

The image of same-sex couples kissing on the cover of a well known magazine will strike discussing and draw reactions because although we are in a more accepting time, it is still a shock to see and only through exposure can the air deflate out of the shock value. Perhaps that is the lesson TIME magazine is teaching society. Time’s Richard Stengel writes in his editor’s letter:

“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.”

Sometimes controversy is necessary in the process of human understanding. Sometimes it allows us to come together on a common ground through the exploration of our differences. No matter what the outcome of the two Supreme Court cases, the fact more people are supporting and changing their minds about same-sex marriage is indeed a victory already achieved, but the fight won’t stop until equality is the final victory.