(RNS) The head of the Unitarian Universalist Association has been convicted on misdemeanor charges for participating in a protest rally against Arizona’s controversial immigration law.
The Rev. Peter Morales, the first Latino president of the Unitarian Universalist Association, was found guilty on Friday (August 5) of failing to comply with a police officer at a July 2010 event where he and others blocked the entrance of the Maricopa County Jail in Phoenix.

“My conviction as a result of that civil disobedience in no way alters my commitment to opposing this legislation that targets and dehumanizes some of the most vulnerable among us,” Morales said.

The protest—whose more than 1,500 participants included UUA members and representatives from local immigrant advocacy groups—criticized Arizona’s hotly debated immigration bill that passed in April 2010.

Morales recently wrote a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Eric Holder, urging both to push back against Arizona’s immigration policies.

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