It’s a day of congratulations – and condolences – in Rhode Island. Today the law recognizing same-sex marriage goes into effect, so couples may now get married – and divorced.

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras led a brief, private afternoon ceremony in his office – the first same-sex marriage in this City Hall. Zachary Marcus, a 25-year-old medical student at Brown University, wed his partner, Gary McDowell, a 28-year-old researcher at Harvard Medical School. Afterward, Marcus was all smiles.

"It's very special," he said. "It's a personal day for us, but this is also a great political victory, and it's important that our elected officials are there for us, we're fighting for this, and that he could be here supporting us today, marrying us today, it's a powerful statement."

There were several couples in City Hall, where local officials began issuing marriage licenses to all couples at 8:30 a.m. The state is hoping more weddings will mean more revenue in the state.

“We’re talking to our hotel partners and they’ve said yes, they are fielding more inquiries from gay and lesbian couples," said Kristen Adamo, spokeswoman for the Providence/Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau. "And there’s also a gay and lesbian wedding fair this weekend. So people are really getting into the spirit of things here.”

But if you leave City Hall and walk just five blocks south, you arrive at the Rhode Island Family Court, where there’s a steady stream of lawyers and couples filing for divorce. Now that’s an option for same-sex couples, too. Many in Rhode Island have already gotten married out-of-state. And unhappy couples have been stuck in a sort of marriage limbo.

“A lot of same sex-couples who maybe had been married in Massachusetts or even Canada, prior to today, could not file for divorce, because we did not recognize their marriages,” said Karen Olivera, an attorney who practices in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. She’s at the courthouse today to file divorce papers for a heterosexual couple, but she has same-sex clients as well.

“I have one or two who are thinking about it and who have considered it because of the change in the law," she said. "And I also know of a couple of other lawyers who planned on filing today or right around today. I don’t know that people are going to rush.”

There weren’t any same-sex couples at the courthouse who wanted to talk about filing for divorce. But one advocate said it’s a bittersweet day for civil rights.