An openly gay candidate in Georgia says he hopes to marry his partner of 16 years in Virginia.

Timothy Swiney, a Republican turned Democrat, is vying for a seat in the Georgia Senate.

Last week, a federal appeals court upheld a lower court's ruling striking down Virginia's prohibition on gay couples marrying. The ruling is set to take effect Thursday. However, defendants in the case have asked the Supreme Court to intervene. The court may rule as early as Monday.

“I've been warned that this is a 'gift' to my Republican opponent [P.K. Martin] and that seeking a marriage license at this time could damage my election chances come November,” Swiney said in a statement.

“The fact is, I'm not a career politician; I am a parent first. This decision is based on what is best for our children and our family's security, not what will play well in a local political campaign. If I lose this election because of this decision, then I'm fine with that. It's that simple.”

“Let's be honest, those who will not vote for me over this issue probably wouldn't have voted for me anyway. And I'm OK with that,” he added.

Swiney and his fiance Eric Reid are raising two adopted children.

“When it comes to family values I've opened my home, my wallet, and my heart to children in need and have adopted 2 minority children, one who is severely handicapped. I dare say that unless my critics can say the same, then it's their values that should be questioned, not mine,” Swiney said.