Results released overnight reveal Australians have resisted pressure from Church leaders by voting in favour of legalising same-sex marriage by 61.6 per cent to 38.4 per cent. The 'Yes' vote on allowing gay couples to tie the knot won in all six Australian states, despite the most senior figure of the country's Anglican Church warning such a move would have "irreparable consequences" effects.  Reacting to the result on Wednesday, Archbishop of Sydney Dr Glenn Davies said in a video posted online: "Although this won't prevent me from continuing to teach that marriage, in God's good design, is between a men and a woman... the reality will be, in a very short period of time, our Parliament will legislate for same-sex marriage." Support for the legalisation of same-sex marriage varied between states, ranging from 57.8 per cent in New South Wales to 74 per cent in the Australian Capital Territory. The Australian Parliament is expected to vote before the end of the year on a change to legislation which will enshrine same-sex marriage in law.

A new poll shows that seven in ten Brits oppose the decriminalisation of abortion. The opinion poll, by ComRes and commissioned by Christian charity CARE, demonstrates overwhelming support for legal restraints on abortion. Its findings are in marked contrast to calls for abortion on demand from some medical groups. The poll, of more than 2,000 British adults, showed that nearly three in four (72 per cent) of the general public believe abortion should be subject to the law. Just one in eight (12 per cent) disagreed. Nola Leach, CARE’s Chief Executive, said: “There is clearly still a mainstream view in society that abortion needs to be governed within a legal framework.”

The Houses of Parliament in central London will be turned red by floodlights next week, as part of a campaign highlight religious intolerance. The Palace of Westminster is among dozens of public buildings across the country which will be brightly illuminated next Wednesday evening for the #RedWednesday initiative. Other landmarks taking part include cathedrals in Ayr, Edinburgh, Paisley, Birmingham, Norwich, Wrexham, Derry and Armagh. #RedWednesday is organised by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) and Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), two organisations which advocate from Christians around the world who live under pressure for their faith.