Fresh off a decisive victory in the New Hampshire primary, supporters of Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders have released a new campaign ad that calls on a diverse cross section of Americans to "vote together."
In the 60-second spot, the Vermont senator, who's spent most of his political career as an independent, is clear that he's calling on gay Americans to join the political revolution that his campaign promises.
“Our job is not to divide — our job is to bring people together,” Sanders can be heard saying as images of individual faces flash across the screen, then are torn in half and put back together.
“If we do not allow them to divide us up by race, by sexual orientation, by gender; by not allowing them to divide us up by whether or not we were born in America, or whether we’re immigrants," Sanders continues. "When we stand together, as white and black and Hispanic and gay and straight and woman and man; when we stand together and demand that this country works for all us, rather than the few, we will transform America. And that is what this campaign is about: is bringing people together."
The spot was produced by New York ad agency Human, which seeks to "advance humanity through stroytelling," according to its website. "Human creates stories and experiences which transform the way our audiences see themselves and the world around them."
When the agency first shared the video on its Facebook page Monday, it positioned the spot as "a film about the idea of togetherness."
"Regardless of your political convictions, America should work for all of us," the post continued, closing with the hashtag #VoteTogether. A website at together.vote offers additional images and clips designed for sharing on social media.
It's unclear whether the ad was created at the behest of the Sanders campaign, or whether the candidate has endorsed the message. Notably, the video does not appear on Sanders's official website or YouTube channel.
As The Washington Blade notes, Sanders has general steered clear of explicitly discussing LGBT equality on the campaign trail, opting instead to stick close to his core message that revolves around remedying economic inequality.
Although the new ad does not mention other identities encompassed under the LGBT umbrella — notably, the Sanders does not mention gender identity — Sanders has long been viewed as an ally to the LGBT community. He earned a perfect score from the Human Rights Campaign in the 113th Congress, and in the most recent legislative session, he co-sponsored the Student Non-Discrimination Act, which would explicitly protect LGBT students, and the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal the last remaining elements of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which was effectively gutted by the Supreme Court's 2013 decision in Windsor v. U.S.