This paper is a response to a call for white papers solicited by Gemini Observatory and its Science and Technology Advisory Committee, to help define the science case and requirements for a new Gemini instrument, envisaged to consist of a single-object spectrograph at medium resolution simultaneously covering optical and near-infrared wavelengths. In this white paper we discuss the science case for an alternative new instrument, consisting instead of a multi-object, medium-resolution, high-throughput spectrograph, covering simultaneously the optical and near-infrared slices of the electromagnetic spectrum. We argue that combination of wide wavelength coverage at medium resolution with moderate multiplexing power is an innovative path that will enable the pursuit of fundamental science questions in a variety of astrophysical topics, without compromise of the science goals achievable by single-object spectroscopy on a wide baseline. We present a brief qualitative discussion of the main features of a notional hardware design that could conceivably make such an instrument viable.