New Zealand’s new Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern quit Mormon Church to support gay rights

The incoming Prime Minister of New Zealand is a former Mormon who rejected the church over their views on gay rights.

Jacinda Ardern has revealed she rejected the church she grew up in as after making gay friends as an adult.

Ardern is due to become the youngest ever Prime Minister of New Zealand, at 37, after forming a coalition government between Labour and NZ First, with the support of the Green Party.

During the general election campaign, Ms Ardern spoke about how she came to support LGBT rights.

The New Zealand native was raised as a Mormon – a religion which holds staunch anti-LGBT views and continues to oppose same-sex marriage.

The tax exempt Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) was also accused of funding the Proposition 8 campaign in California, which sought to block marriage equality.

Explaining her evolving views, she told the New Zealand Herald: “‘For a lot of years, I put it to the back of my mind. I think it was too unsettling.

“If something like religion is part of your foundation, and then suddenly you start questioning that – it’s quite a confronting thing to deal with.

“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’.

“Because how could I subscribe to a religion that just didn’t account for them?

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