A federal judge struck down Utah's same-sex marriage ban Friday in a decision that brings a growing shift toward allowing gay marriage to a conservative state where the Mormon church has long been against it. The Salt Lake County clerk's office started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Deputy Clerk Dahnelle Burton-Lee said the district attorney authorized her office to begin issuing the licenses but she couldn't immediately say how many have been issued so far. Just hours earlier, U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby issued a 53-page ruling saying Utah's law passed by voters in 2004 violates gay and lesbian couples' rights to due process and equal protection under the 14th Amendment/Associated Press. More here.