Category Archives: Humanism

Celebrate Women’s Equality Day

Come to a Rally at Civic Center Plaze in Albuquerque
Friday, August 26 between 11 AM and 1 PM

Over the past few years the Humanist Society of NM and the Albuquerque Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) have held public celebrations of Women’s Equality Day to remind all citizens that the right to vote comes with the responsibility to vote and that our work for women’s inclusion as equal partners with men in our country will not be done until the Equal Rights Amendment, written by Alice Paul in 1923, is ratified by 38 states and added to the Constitution.

The Southwest Women’s Law Center, in collaboration with Abq-NOW, League of Women Voters and other women-focused local and statewide organizations, will hold a rally at Civic Center Plaza in Albuquerque on Friday, August 26 between 11 AM and 1 PM. The event will feature real-time linkages via Skype, Facebook and Twitter with women from all 33 counties in NM projected on a jumbotron. The women will speak about issues of concern that impact their lives and the lives of women in their communities.

The objective of the celebration is to get women to vote and vote their mission, whatever it is. To that end it will focus on getting every woman, who is eligible, registered to vote with an emphasis on 17-year-olds who will be 18 by November 8, 2016.

There will be no political speeches nor promotion of any candidates or platforms. Ultimately, the goal is to build a community of strong women who will rise up, get engaged, and get to the polls in 2016.

For more information and to participate in this event, please contact Pamelya Herndon, Executive Director SWLC, at 505-244-0502 or .

History of Women’s Suffrage and Women’s Equality Day

On June 4, 1919, Congress, by joint resolution, approved the woman’s suffrage amendment and sent it to the states for ratification. The House of Representatives had voted 304-89 and the Senate 56-25 in favor of the amendment. It had taken 71 years, since the Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments, to get to this point.

The national campaign to have the amendment ratified by 2/3 of the 48 states was led by suffragists, Alice Paul and Carrie Chapman Catt, who used different tactics but got all the states needed for ratification by August 18, 1920. Women’s right to vote in the US became the law of the land when it was added to the Constitution on August 26, 1920.

In 1971 Bella Abzug, Representative from New York, was successful in having a bill passed in Congress to have August 26 recognized annually as Women’s Equality Day.

For more information and to participate in this event, please contact Pamelya Herndon, Executive Director SWLC, at 505-244-0502 or .

Submitted by Sylvia M. Ramos, MD
ERA Task Force Chair, Albuquerque-NOW

Planned Parenthood: What is it and What’s going on?

March 2016 Speaker Meeting – March 26, 10 AM to Noon
Botts Hall, Special Collections Library, 423 Central NE, Albuquerque

by Marshall Martinez

Marshall Martinez is the Public Affairs Manager in New Mexico for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. Marshall will speak about Planned Parenthood, cover who Planned Parenthood is and why it gets involved in advocacy.

Subjects like funding, procedure bans, “witch-hunts”, legislation, what’s upcoming for 2016, and how you can get involved. Come and hear an informed speaker on these subjects– it’s going to be a great talk.

A native New Mexican, Marshall has spent a majority of his life as an organizer, even when he didn’t know what that was. Working in HIV/AIDS Prevention and Awareness as a teenager in Alamogordo New Mexico, Marshall learned at a young age how important comprehensive and responsible sexuality education is, and in this work was able to draw the connection beyond sexual health to emotional and mental health for teenagers.

After moving to Albuquerque in 2001 he began a formal career in political and community organizing, working for organizations like the League of Conservation Voters, AFSCME Public Employees Labor Union, and serving multiple years on the board of Equality New Mexico. Marshall’s passions have always been strong on the issues of Reproductive Healthcare Access. Being raised by a strong mother, and having two younger sisters, he sees the sacredness of Women’s Bodies and destinies and works hard to ensure their choices about them are respected.

Creationism Under the Hood

February Speaker Meeting
Saturday, February 27, 10 am to 12 noon
Free and Open to the Public

Special Collections Library, Botts Hall
423 Central Avenue NE

Cargo-Cult Science in the Intelligent Design Movement’s Attack on Evolutionary Algorithms

by Dave Thomas

Genetic (or evolutionary) algorithms have been used many times to successfully “breed” innovative answers to difficult problems in physics, math and biology. Creationists realize that the successes of such programs provide additional evidence for evolution, and have mounted a vigorous attack on Genetic Algorithms. Dave Thomas countered these attacks a few years ago by publishing a new genetic algorithm for solving the difficult “Steiner network problem”. Intelligent design creationists have since reacted by publishing two “analyses” of the Thomas algorithm. Dave will show that these new attacks are based on fallacious logic and outright misrepresentations. Are the creationists wrong? Is 1217 less than 1246? The answer to both of these questions is a resounding “Yes!”

Dave Thomas is a physicist and mathematician. He received bachelor degrees in mathematics and in physics, and a master of science in mathematics, from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, where he was awarded the Brown Medal and the Langmuir Award.

Dave is president of the science group New Mexicans for Science and Reason (http://www., and also is a Fellow of CSI (Committee for Skeptical Inquiry), the publishers of Skeptical Inquirer. He has published several articles in Skeptical Inquirer on the Roswell and Aztec UFO Incidents, as well as on the Bible Code. Dave has also published in Scientific American (Dec. 1980 cover article), and has several patents. He received the National Center for Science Education’s Friend of Darwin Award in 2000.

Dave is past president of the Coalition for Excellence on Science and Math Education (CESE), and is past president of the New Mexico Academy of Science.

Kitzmiller v Dover: Intelligent Design on Trial

Special January Speaker Meeting

Saturday, January 23, 10am-noon
Botts Hall, Special Collections Library
423 Central Avenue NE, Albuquerque
Free and open to the public

December 20 was the anniversary of a very special day! “The anniversary of what?” you ask: “Vaspasian claims the title of Emperor in the year 69?”  No. “The release of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ in 1946?”  Nope. “Uri Geller’s birthday?”  Nooooo.  Hint: It’s not the day that would live in infamy, but it did mention “breathtaking inanity.” Ah, now you guessed it.

It’s the tenth anniversary of Kitzmiller v. Dover, when intelligent design went on trial!

Our meeting will start with a viewing of the PBS’ Nova “Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial”. Following, we’ll ask for your thoughts about the debate between evolution and intelligent design: should it be taught in secular schools and what’s happened in the ten years since Dover.

Please come, watch and participate.

Leland Franks Obituary

Another valued member of HSNM has passed on…

Leland Franks, 87, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, October 13, 2015. Born on 5/11/1928 in Huntington, WV to Nora Beldner and Harold Franks, Leland grew up in WV and graduated from Logan High School. He moved to ABQ in 1953 from Lexington, KY after graduating from UK Law School. The Army called him to Albuquerque, and he stayed. He began his career as an accountant but soon changed to law. Self-employed for most of his career, he had many distinguished clients.

A past president of the Humanist Society of NM, he enjoyed going to their meetings. Up until about 6 months ago, he would go hiking every Sunday with a group of Humanist friends. Leland and his wife would take his children and grandchildren to CO on annual vacations for a number of years, and many great memories were made on those trips.

He was preceded in death by his mother Nora B. Franks.

Surviving are his loving wife Judy; daughter, Lela Tomlinson, of WA; son Adam (Sandra), of WA; daughter, Vivian (Calvin) Wisemann, of ABQ; and step-son Dan Engler of PA. Also survived by his five grandchildren: Amanda Franks, Jacob (Amanda) Franks, Aaron, Carlee, and Celina Wisemann; and his two great-grandsons and one due in November to Celina Wisemann and Daniel Duran; step-grandchildren Josh, Nic and Jacie Engler and four step-great-grandchildren. Also survived by his cousin, Michael (Susan) Rancer and half-sister Linda Beebe.

Friends will be received at the home, 615 Ridge Pl. NE, on Sunday, 10/18/15 from 1 – 4 pm.

Jack Fuller Obituary

Jack Fuller Obituary

by Gail Rubin

Jack died September 7, 2015

Jack Fuller, 83, a long-time member of HSNM, has laid down his hiking poles for the last time. Only a month after he and his wife Helen returned from a hiking trip to Iceland, which included soaking in the natural hot springs there, multiple myeloma unexpectedly cut short his life.

Jack was a man ahead of his time. A native of Palestine, Texas, he graduated high school at age 16, graduated college at 20 and got his PhD in physics by age 24. After graduation, he taught physics for two years at Baylor University, his alma mater. It’s also where he met his future bride, Helen Langston. They took a chemistry class together. He thought she was a little weird because she brought her pet rat to class and kept it on the windowsill. They married on August 23, 1953.

In 1959 they moved to Los Alamos where they reared two daughters: Karen (married to Dave Ruelli) and Lori (married to Martha Coder). Jack is also survived by his brother, Jerry Fuller, sister Jean Conroy (married to Martin Conroy), and great-granddaughter Korrine Blossom.

He worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1959 until he retired at age 55 in 1988. He started in space physics and later became a group leader for satellite detection and then weapons engineering. He listened to group members and was known as being a good man to work for.

Jack was a man of enthusiasm – for hiking and fitness, for piloting planes, for skiing and tennis, and enjoying classical music and reading books. He was a vegetarian who ate bacon. He loved Mexican food, especially Helen’s chile rellenos.

After his daughter coerced him into going skiing the first time, he bought equipment for the family, skied two days every weekend and later served on ski patrol. In 1968, after reading Aerobics by Ken Cooper, Jack started running and ran regularly for the next 30 years, after which running was replaced by hiking. When hiking, Jack was well known for getting off the trail. He liked to explore and bushwhack, and preferred fresh vistas on loop trails over out-and-back hikes (hence the bushwhacking). He designed and constructed personalized hiking poles for himself and their humanist hiking friends.

While Jack liked dogs, the family didn’t have their own. He’d get his doggie fix by interacting with the canines he encountered hiking and talking with the neighbors.

According to their daughter, Jack and Helen were the “poster children” for maintaining weight and fitness while aging. They vigorously hiked in the Sandia foothills on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, and worked out at the gym on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Jack was very much a scientist in his thinking and studied scientific subjects all his life. He was a great teacher and was good at explaining without making you feel stupid. When helping with physics homework he would patiently say, “Let’s look at it this way,” and “Did you draw a picture?” and proceed to explain how to approach the problem. He taught his sister, wife, daughters and grandson how to drive. His sister Jean recalls that she spent more time in reverse than drive.

After retirement, Jack was instrumental in organizing the Retired Public Employees of California – New Mexico chapter. He served as president of the organization for 17 years.

Jack was a man who was “all in” when he decided to do something. Then, when he was finished, he was finished. Jack Fuller has finished with this life, and it was a good one.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests you get outside and take a hike in Jack’s honor. Or, consider making a donation to the American Cancer Society specifically to help those with multiple myeloma.

Leland Franks said it best when he spoke at Jack’s memorial on Sept. 13: “It’s hard to say good-bye to a good friend.” We are missing Jack greatly, and holding Helen close in our hearts.

Memorial for HSNM Member Jack Fuller

Jack Fuller, one of the Humanist Society of New Mexico’s leading members, died Monday of multiple myeloma.  There will be a memorial service for Jack at the social hall of the First Unitarian Universalist church at 3701 Carlisle N E at 2:30 this Sunday, September 13.

All HSNM members, family and friends are invited.

Jack and his wife Helen were active members of HSNM, and he led the Sunday morning hiking group.  Formerly of Los Alamos, they joined HSNM after retiring to Albuquerque.  Jack was our go-to person on questions of astronomy, physics, and science in general.  He will be sorely missed.

ERA Spring 2015 Report and Calls to Action

Albuquerque-NOW ERA Task Force:

Sylvia M. Ramos, M.D., Chair

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is as relevant now as it was when first written by Alice Paul 92 years ago and much work is going on nationally to have women’s rights (which are Human Rights) written into our US Constitution. Only a Constitutional amendment will guarantee women “Equal Justice under Law.”

Laws, Judicial Decisions and Executive Acts are temporary remedies to legislative attacks on women’s rights. However, no matter how well-intentioned, all these measures may be overturned, repealed, ignored and chipped away whenever a group of legislators decides women’s rights are politically expedient and expendable.

The ERA is introduced every year in Congress. Work is needed in every state to ratify it and have it inscribed in our Constitution. A new national organization, the ERA Coalition, has been joined in this effort by many other national organizations. Find out all about them, the ERA, the campaign, who’s in and who’s out at this site:

Representative Jackie Speier introduced (H. J. Res. 51) on May 13 and Senator Ben Cardin introduced S. J. Res. 15 on May 7:

Both seek to remove the deadline for ratification so we can get three more states to ratify it. That will bring us to the 38 states needed for ERA to be added to the Constitution. This is the path we favor.

There are other resolutions that ask for the ERA to be sent to all the states for ratification. That means that even states that ratified it previously would need to do it again (43 years later!). Sen Menendez introduced S.J.Res. 16 and Rep. Carolyn Maloney introduced H.J.Res. 52.

Even though NM ratified the ERA in 1973, we need to continue working to ensure that ERA is ratified nationally. We need YOU to get this done!

Ongoing and Specific Activities to get ERA Ratified

1. Build awareness about the ERA among the general public and our elected officials.

ACT NOW! ~ Sign the ERA Petition to our US Senators and Representatives at:

a) Legislature event- We had a well-attended program at the NM State Capitol Rotunda on March 2nd to celebrate International Woman Day, highlight legislation addressing women’s rights and need for the ERA. We were joined by several local professional and community organizations. Participants were: Deborah Blanche (Emcee, Abq-NOW), Martha Burk, Ph. D. (Political Psychologist, Women’s Issues Expert), NM State Senator Jacob Candelaria, Carolyn Glen (HSNM, AAUW-Activist for Equal Pay), Pamelya Herndon, J.D.(Executive Director, SWLC), Sylvia M. Ramos, M.D Abq-NOW) and Ghada Zribi (UNM Student and women’s rights activist)

b) Participate in and distribute literature at local events such as Earth Day and Bees and Seeds.

c) Plan and present local programs about women’s rights and the ERA, especially on relevant dates such as Women’s Equality Day.

2. Get our elected officials in Congress to sign on as co-sponsors of the resolutions to do away with the deadline for ratification- S.J.Res. 15 and H.J.Res. 51.

ACT NOW! – Contact your Congress members. Here is how:

Find Congress members, upcoming bills and other info:

 For more information on all our Congress members:

As of 5/16/15 Senator Udall, Representative Steve Pearce and Representative Ben Ray Lujan have not signed on to any ERA bill. Urge them (or their Legislative Director) to support women by signing on as co-sponsors.

Sen. Tom Udall– 202-224-6621
Legis. Director:

Rep. Ben Ray Lujan – 202 225-6190
Legis. Director:

Rep. Steve Pearce – 202-225-2356

Senator Martin Heinrich and Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham have signed on. Thank them.

Sen. Martin Heinrich – 202-224-5521
Legis. Dir.:

Rep Michelle Lujan Grisham—202-225-6316
Legis .Dir.

3. Help our allies- Sign petitions, pass on their messages and calls for action, tweets, etc.

ACT NOW! ~ Sign up (no obligation to do anything else) on the Equal Means Equal Website to help build interest, momentum and support for the FILM to get shown across the country at:

4. Build coalitions and networks with other organizations that move the cause of women’s rights forward. Tell them about us and Let us know who they are.

5. Spread the word about our work on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.

Help us do this! The ERA Task Force is an ad hoc group made up of people who volunteer at different times to help with specific events. We welcome your ideas and help.

Contact: Sylvia Ramos, ERA Task Force Chair for Albuquerque NOW (ERA Liaison for Feminist Caucus-Humanist Society of NM and Santa Fe-NOW) Phone: (505) 401-0601; email:; Twitter: @smrcmd

Women’s History/Women’s Rights/ERA Event

Monday, March 2, 2015, 2-3 PM

Old Santa Fe Trail and Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe, NM 87501 (map)

The Equal Rights Amendment is Not History: Why Women Need CONSTITUTIONALLY GUARANTEED Equality Now
The ERA was written by Alice Paul in 1923, passed by Congress in 1972. As for ratification? It’s been 92 years and waiting.


Other Sponsors: New Mexico NOW, Santa Fe NOW, Feminist Caucus of the Humanist Society of NM, Southwest Women’s Law Center, Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice, NM American Assn of University Women, UNM Peace and Justice Studies Program, and League of Women Voters of Central NM

Come early or stay after to meet and mingle with our sponsors and speakers at our exhibit tables in the East Halls of History, spaces H and I

Please join us!

ERA Action Network Spring 2014 Update


The campaign to have the NM State legislature pass our  ERA Memorial sponsored by Senator Jacob Candelaria was very successful. The memorial was passed on a unanimous vote- 15 Democrats and 9 Republicans- and was sent to our US Congressional delegation in Washington DC. It asks them to support Resolutions to Remove the Deadline for Ratification of the ERA. The new House resolution is H J Res 113 and the Senate bill is the same, S J res 15.
So far we have 110 co-sponsors in the House and 34 co-sponsors in the Senate (including Senators Udall and Heinrich and Representative Lujan Grisham).



We continue our effort to obtain support from our two congress members who have not yet co-sponsored H J Res 113. Just click the links below to support women’s rights. It is quick and effective action.

Steve Pearce

Ben Ray Lujan

You may also contact them and track the bills at this link.


2014 NOW Conference: “Faces of Feminism- Strength in Diversity”- June 27 to 29 in Albuquerque.

Women are 51% of US citizens, yet are not included in the Constitution (except in the 19th Amendment- the right to vote).  Their lack of overt recognition in this founding document leaves the impression that they are not the equal of men and that leads to de facto inequality. Women lag behind men in professional and economic opportunities and, therefore, achievement. Furthermore, women are daily subjected to discrimination via laws aimed at abolishing their innate right to equal treatment under the law in areas including employment, career advancement, pay equity, reproductive health care choices and autonomy over all aspects of their anatomy and lives.

Year after year, women spend countless hours, money, energy and emotion fighting the same fires of injustice that have plagued them since the beginning of our republic. Resources that might have been better spent in self-fulfilling endeavors and efforts to improve the lives of their families and communities have gone into protecting, temporarily, their human rights.

Join over 500 local and national feminists at the annual conference of the National Organization for Women (NOW) that will be held in Albuquerque June 27 to 29, 2014. Hear about ongoing initiatives to address gender-based discrimination, including the ongoing campaign to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment; end pay inequity; increase access to education and career opportunities; ensure women’s access to the health care of their choice. Learn how to become an activist and help determine the future course of women’s rights in our country. Find out more here.

Nelson Mandela: “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

Sylvia M. Ramos M.D. – Chair, ERA Task Force, Abq-NOW and ERA Liaison to HSNM and Santa Fe-NOW