How do you get gay men to sign up for health insurance? One gay marketing group is banking on a belting Christmas tune and shirtless men in tiny, tiny pants. Gay Republicans, though, aren’t feeling the festive cheer.
You can watch the ad, entitled “Get Enrolled” as a parody of “Let it Snow,” below. A word of caution: if offended by shirtless men in small pants, the auditory terror of camp tunes, or a dose of glaring Christmas cheer, this video may not be for you:
The ad is brought to us by Out2Enroll as a joint project between the Center for American Progress, the Sellers Dorsey Foundation, and the Federal Agencies Project. As such, it isn’t actually directly affiliated with the Obama administration. Yes it’s silly, yes it’s obviously using sex to sell the product or at the very least get us talking about it, but it is for a good cause.
Health insurance coverage for same-sex couples and trans individuals is something that, prior to the Affordable Care Act, was hard to secure. So-called Obamacare isn’t perfect, and there’s been a great deal of discussion about its problems before, but Out2Enroll is aiming to make access to affordable healthcare as easy as possible for LGBT people, with its easy to understand guides and resources.
Apparently though, all this was lost on the leading Republican gay group the Log Cabin Republicans who decided this week to pour scorn on the ad and use it to attack President Obama. Said the LCR in a statement:
“This cynical ad betrays the depths Obamacare advocates will sink to in order to pad their pathetic enrollment numbers,” Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director Gregory T. Angelo declared. “As a self-proclaimed ‘fierce advocate’ of gay equality, President Obama would do well to distance himself from this nonsense and denounce it immediately. This ad is also an example of the left promoting harmful stereotypes that gay men are nothing more than sex-crazed lechers. If anyone on the right made such a comparison, liberals would be apoplectic. At a time when left-wing propagandists are decrying Duck Dynasty‘s Phil Robertson for equating homosexuality with promiscuity and deviance, Out2Enroll and others should take a look in the mirror and ask if the truth is that they are the ones responsible for promoting such harmful stereotypes.”
First of all, the ad is nothing like Duck Dynasty star Phil Roberston comparing homosexuality to bestiality. It just isn’t.
Second, as to what the “harmful stereotypes” this ad is apparently supporting, I’m unsure. True, it features men whose body fat looks to be in single digits, but they’re not requiring you to have visible abs before you can get health insurance. I’d also point out that this ad at least features a kind of honest exploitation — whereas the Conservative group Generation Opportunity’s anti-Obamacare ad campaign used a scaremongering and quite frankly ridiculous “Creepy Uncle Sam” prostate exam video to shock young college students not to take out insurance.
Lastly, it seems that the Log Cabin Republicans have forgotten that Obama is not affiliated with this ad in any way, so attacking him is opportunistic and nothing more. Rather than talking about the substantial issues of healthcare and the problems LGBTs face (as well as solutions), the Log Cabin Republicans have chosen what appears to be partisan politics. That’s terribly sad. It’s also appallingly humorless.
The deadline for enrollment for a healthcare plan was December 23 — that’s for coverage starting in January. A more pressing deadline will come in March when all Americans will be required to have insurance or potentially face fines. The nice thing about this story is, the Log Cabin Republicans have given us reason to talk about the issue, draw even more attention to the ad and highlight the important message behind its frippery.
So thanks LCR, and to you and everyone a healthy festive holiday!
Photo credit: screenshot of YouTube video.