Roy Speckhardt, 2012
January 24, 1973 |
Carmel, New York
|Occupation||Executive director of the American Humanist Association|
Speckhardt earned a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Mary Washington College and a Master of Business Administration, with a concentration in information systems management, from George Mason University. In addition to his college education, he received specialized training in nonprofit tax law, financial management, grassroots organizing, fundraising, and dispute resolution.[where?]
Early in his career, Speckhardt was a fundraiser for various causes, including AIDS research and wildlife conservation, and worked on the "World Difference Campaign" of the Anti-Defamation League. He worked for The Interfaith Alliance from 1995 to 2001 as deputy director in charge of staff. Speckhardt worked as the director of membership and programs of the American Humanist Association for four years, is executive director. The American Humanist Association is the oldest and one of the largest groups of humanists and atheists in the United States.
Challenges to "Pledge of Allegiance"
In 2013 Speckhardt argued that the phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance violates the Equal Protection Amendment of the Massachusetts Constitution. In May 2014 the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled that the pledge was a "fundamentally patriotic exercise, not a religious one". 
In 2014, the AHA likewise brought suit against the state of New Jersey. In February 2015 a New Jersey Superior Court Judge dismissed a lawsuit challenging the Pledge of Allegiance, ruling that "...the Pledge of Allegiance does not violate the rights of those who don't believe in God and does not have to be removed from the patriotic message."
- Conlon, Kevin. "'Under God' part of Pledge of Allegiance under review in Massachusetts", CNN, September 4, 2013
- Sanchez, Ray and Crook III, Lawrence. "Massachusetts highest court: Pledge of Allegiance not religious", CNN, May 9, 2014
- Winston, Kimberley. "New Jersey lawsuit seeks to ban Pledge of Allegiance", Religion News Service, April 21, 2014
- Spoto, Maryanne. "'Under God' is not discriminatory and will stay in pledge, judge says", NJ.com, February 6, 2015