UUA, UCC Presidents Condemn Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Closure of Maricopa County Jails
The Rev. Peter Morales, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), and the Rev. Geoffrey A. Black, General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ (UCC), today issued this joint statement in response to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s decision to prohibit visitation in Tent City and five other Maricopa County jails in advance of tonight’s vigil:
“This action by Sheriff Joe Arpaio is irresponsible and mean-spirited. He is using our peaceful religious demonstration at Tent City as a pretext to punish inmates and their families there and at the five other county jails. Instead of shutting down the jails for one day, Arpaio should shut them down for good,” affirmed Rev. Morales.
“The inhumane treatment of persons incarcerated at tent city is appalling,” observed Rev. Black. “These are indeed our brothers and sisters. I am sure that anyone seeing these conditions first hand would be as repulsed as I am. I hope and pray that our visit will shed additional light on this immoral abuse of power.”
Unitarian Universalists and members of the United Church of Christ will gather for this candlelight vigil to shine a light on the human rights abuses inflicted upon those being held at Tent City, including overcrowding, inedible food, and dangerously high temperatures. Unitarian Universalists were invited by our partner groups including Puente Arizona, NDLON, and Somos America to hold our General Assembly in Phoenix to stand on the side of love for social justice, including migrant rights and human immigration reform.
The Unitarian Universalist Association is a faith community of more than 1,000 self-governing congregations that bring to the world a vision of religious freedom, tolerance, and social justice. For more information about the UUA or Rev. Peter Morales, please visit our online press room.
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