New Zealand’s new prime minister agnostic

Jacinda Ardern, the head of New Zealand’s Labour Party, is set to become the country’s next prime minister. She is a former Mormon who became an agnostic in her 20s.

Ardern, 37, will be the youngest leader in New Zealand in more than 150 years. A staunch feminist, Ardern refused to answer whether she has considered having children, saying no male politician would be forced to answer that question.

Jacinda Adern
Jacinda Adern

She said that she left Mormonism because of its anti-gay prejudice. “Even before the Civil Union Bill came up, I lived in a flat with three gay friends and I was still going to church every so often, and I just remember thinking ‘This is really inconsistent — I’m either doing a disservice to the church or my friends,’” she said.