I have always viewed ‘Special Interest Groups’ as a collective group of people, akin or same as lobby groups, that advocate and harangue for the interests of their members. ‘Special Interest’ to me denotes a concern with an issue that is not associated with basic human rights or rights taken for granted as being the status quo i.e fracking groups. However, the debate about lives of gay people has taken a twist, as is being reported in the British Daily Mail newspaper. A young man, aged 17, has had his profile pulled from his school’s yearbook because it carried statements from him about being gay.
The decision has attracted some criticism from Human Rights Group (quite rightly so, I say) but the twist in the tale comes from the school making a statement to the effect that it would not listen to ‘special interest groups’. Since when did gay people and human rights become ‘special interests’? While I do not live in America I know how important their Yearbook is to them and it must be a distressing experience to have your identity rejected for publication because of your sexuality. I also know, through friends and family living in America, how important one’s graduation from high school is to family. The young man’s mother has been bereft at the school’s heartless decision and is campaigning for a reversal of their decision. She has been pictured sobbing at a rally held in his honour.
While we in the UK sign off our child leaving secondary school with a sigh of nostalgia in America it represents a rite of passage through life. I don’t even know whether my daughter’s school does a leaving yearbook but if it did and if my child were gay and if she were excluded I would be screaming from the rooftops too.