TORY MP Stephen Kerr was in charge of the Mormon Church’s publicity strategy in the UK when a directive was issued that marriage could only be between a man and a woman.

When Kerr was National Priesthood Chairman of the Public Affairs committee of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints a Strategic Plan for Great Britain was produced.

In the document Kerr’s name appears at the top of a flow chart diagram of the “organisational structure” of the group. It sets out seven ‘Key Messages’, which includes the stark directive “Marriage: defined as a man and a woman”.

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The Sunday Herald revealed last week that gay men were “outed” by homophobic church leaders when Kerr was a high-ranking figure in the church.

The SNP has called on Kerr to clarify whether or not he supports equality.

The Mormon Church’s strategy also suggests members should seek public office. Kerr ran as Tory candidate in Stirling in 2010 and 2015, and was then elected last month at the third time of asking with a majority of 148 votes. He now represents the third most marginal Conservative seat in the country.

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The strategy states: “Raise the esteem of the church with the good and the great in British society: defenders of the faith in prominent positions and in the media….encourage church members to seek prominent positions in society.”

Under the ‘Recent successes’ section of the strategy is a report in ‘Church News’ from March 14 2009, featuring Stephen Kerr’s visit to the House of Commons for a presentation of the church’s “Family Values” award 2009.

In the article Kerr was described as an “Area Seventy”, a high-ranking position in the church, and quoted as saying: “The institution that will save our broken society is not parliament – it is the home.”

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A Stirling SNP source said: “Tolerance, respect and inclusion are the attitudes and principles that should be encouraged and fostered in modern, outward-looking Scotland, and MPs of all parties should advance these.

“Newly-elected Tory MP Stephen Kerr must clarify his views on equality, starting with whether or not he actually believes in it.”

Last night Kerr said: “The church’s teachings are that marriage is defined by God as being between a man and a woman. As a Parliamentarian my responsibility is to all of the people of this constituency and to the wider public interest. As such, I will defend the rights of all people, regardless of race, gender, disability or whatever – including sexuality – to see that their rights are defended and protected and advanced under law. It is possible to be an MP and to look after the interests of all of the people.”

When the Sunday Herald interviewed Kerr at his home in Stirling yesterday his wife accused this newspaper of “religious prejudice” and said it is “illegal” for a journalist to record a conversation, before taking out her mobile phone and recording the interview.

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When Kerr was asked again about the definition of marriage in the strategy, he said: “I was a church leader and that is what the church teaches as does a number of religions. Why is that an issue? As a church leader I produced, was responsible, that was one of the documents that I, er, I don’t remember the specific document but there’s no question that I, you know, recognise it as, I’m not saying it’s not genuine so don’t misconstrue me, but the church’s teachings, as you well know, in common with nearly all other Christian denominations and other faiths – such as the Muslims and the Jews – is that marriage is defined by God and being between a man and a woman.

“As a Parliamentarian I am not in Parliament to represent my religion…if you believe as an individual, in terms of religious faith, that marriage is between a man and a woman that doesn’t mean you’re against people having rights to equal marriage.”

Following the interview a senior figure in the Scotland Office contacted the Sunday Herald to defend Kerr and restate his position, asking not to be named and insisting they were not speaking “in an official capacity”.

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said: “Stephen is passionate about equality and respecting the rights of others, and will continue to fight for this as an MP.”

To see the documents in full, visit

The Sunday Herald can reveal that Stirling MP Stephen Kerr failed to condemn the Mormon Church’s racist legacy when he appeared on television in 1998.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints did not allow black people to become priests until June 1978 when it was said “the Lord revealed” that all "worthy men" could be ordained whatever their colour.

Kerr was asked why black people had second-class status in the church when he appeared on Channel Five programme Do you believe in?, broadcast in August 1998.

He said: “I don’t know. We don’t know. None of us know. Only God knows.”

At the time he was President of the Edinburgh Stake [diocese] and described himself as a fourth generation Mormon.

When asked last night why he didn’t condemn the policy Kerr said: “This is a very accurate account. That’s exactly what I said. I was a representative of the church.

“When I was growing up that was indeed the policy of the church. It changed when I was 17. You’re talking about my religious beliefs. When I was 17 the church’s policy on ordination was changed and I’m perfectly happy with the policy as it is today.”

When asked if that was as a result of a directive from God he said: “It’s what I believe. You either believe it’s true or you don’t. I don’t think it’s a crime.”