A Mississippi judge has rejected a woman's request for a divorce from her estranged wife.

Lauren Beth Czekala-Chatham and Dana Ann Melancon married in California in 2008 but lived together in Mississippi until they split in 2010.

The 51-year-old Czekala-Chatham, who filed for the divorce in September, told the AP that the judge appeared sympathetic but concluded that he could not grant her a divorce because her California marriage was not recognized in Mississippi.

“I would have liked to have had the divorce,” she said, “but either way he ruled, it was going to be appealed.”

Legislators in 1997 approved a law that says a marriage between two people of the same gender is “null and void from the beginning.” Mississippi voters overwhelmingly (86%) approved in 2004 a constitutional amendment which defines marriage as a heterosexual union.

Czekala-Chatham could file for a divorce in California but without Mississippi recognition enforcement would be difficult. The couple purchased a house together before their relationship soured and Czekala-Chatham has two teenage sons from a previous marriage to a man.

“Why should I be treated differently, you know?” Czekala-Chatham said. “When the courthouse is a few blocks from here, I should be able to walk up there and get married. I should also be able to go up there and get divorced.”

She said that she would appeal the decision.