PROVIDENCE, R.I. (CBS Connecticut/AP) — Same-sex couples in Rhode Island are using the state’s new gay marriage law to file for divorce.

Attorney Neville Bedford tells WPRI-TV that he filed one of Rhode Island’s first same-sex divorces for his client, who got married in Massachusetts in 2008 but separated with her wife in 2011.

“Her only option before was to move to a state that allowed same-sex marriage,” Bedford told WPRI. “She had to wait 2 years for this day.”

His client Melanie – a doctor who is doing her residency in Rhode Island – said she felt “trapped” not being able to get legally divorced in the state.

“I did consider moving but I decided against it,” she told WPRI. “It was too much to deal with.”

Melanie couldn’t divorce her wife in 2011 because the state did not legally recognize same-sex marriages.

Bedford told WPRI that believed at least a dozen same-sex couples would file for divorce the first day it was available. The number of same-sex divorce filings has yet to be released.

Gay marriage became legal in Rhode Island and Minnesota at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, bringing the number of states allowing same-sex marriage to 13.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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