Colorado Unitarian Universalist Ministers Urge “Yes On A”

Unitarian Universalist ministers have freedom of the pulpit. Using that freedom, the UU ministers of the State of Colorado have made a unanimous statement on Amendment A.  See below.

 

Yes on A

 

During the election this November you will notice a ballot measure called Amendment A:  Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution prohibiting slavery and involuntary servitude in all circumstances by repealing an exception that allows slavery or involuntary servitude as punishment for a crime?

 

As the Unitarian Universalist ministers in Colorado, we urge you to vote YES on this measure.

 

We know that slavery is not a Colorado value. But for more than a century our state constitution has preserved the right of the state to enslave people as punishment for a crime. This archaic and hurtful language must be removed.

 

You may be asking yourself, what impact might this have on people who are currently incarcerated? The measure will not end prison terms as punishment for crimes committed in our state, but it will help us move forward the conversation about what justice truly looks like in our communities. There are many conversations to be had about what justice looks like, but we believe that we can all agree, that no matter what conclusion we come to about the appropriate measures to address crimes, our response should never include slavery.

 

We belong to a long line of Unitarian and Universalist abolitionists who fought to end slavery in this country almost two centuries ago.  Today, with their courageous love to guide us, we continue this work to put an end to all remaining legal language that allows for the enslavement of people.

 

We believe that by changing the way we talk about what prison is, and why people are there, we can begin to change the conversations and outcomes and move toward right relationship in our communities.

 

The measure would amend Section 26 of Article II of the Colorado Constitution. The following struck-through text would be deleted-

Amending Section 26 of Article II

Section 26. Slavery prohibited.

There shall never be in this state either slavery or involuntary servitude.

 

For more information, see these links:

 

abolishslaveryco.org

ballotpedia.org/Colorado_Amendment_A,_Removal_of_Exception_to_Slavery_Prohibition_for_Criminals_Amendment_(2018)

 

leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/initiative%2520referendum_afinal.pdf

 

Yours in faith,

Unitarian Universalist Faith Leaders Racial Justice Council

Rev. Keith Arnold, Jefferson Unitarian Church

Rev. Eric Banner, Jefferson Unitarian Church

Emily Conger, Foothills Unitarian Church

Rev. Kelly Dignan, Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder

Rev. Dylan Doyle-Burke, Assistant Minister, First Universalist Church of Denver

Rev. Lydia Ferrante-Roseberry, Boulder Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Rev. Shawna Foster, Two Rivers Unitarian Universalist

Rev. Gretchen Haley, Foothills Unitarian Church

Rev. Jann Halloran, Prairie Unitarian Universalist Church

Rev. Wendy Jones, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Grand Valley

Rev. Katie Kandarian, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Durango

Rev. Laurel Liefert, Namaqua Unitarian Universalist Congregation

Rev. Dana Lightsey,  Assistant Minister, Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder

Rev Julia McKay, Columbine Unitarian Universalist Church

Rev. Mike Morran, First Unitarian Society of Denver

Rev. Sean Neil-Barron, Assistant Minister, Foothills Unitarian Church

Rev. Aaron Norris, Unitarian Universalist Church of Greeley

Rev. Ruth Rinehart, JUUST Living

Rev. Nori Rost, All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church

Rev. Dr. Amy Rowland, Affiliated Minister, Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder

Rev. Jeannie Shero, First Universalist Church of Denver

Rev. Nadine Swahnberg, Affiliated Minister, Jefferson Unitarian Church

Rev. Wendy Williams, Jefferson Unitarian Church

Rev. Nathan Woodliff-Stanley, Affiliated Minister, First Unitarian Society of Denver