Mayor Jim Watson received hundreds of retweets and favourites on Twitter when he announced on the social network Thursday that the Pride flag would fly at City Hall until the end of the Olympics.
But at least one person was not pleased with the move, telling the mayor: "This is a stupid waste of time. You've lost my vote."
Watson's response also went viral.
"If you have that point of view, I really don't want your vote," the mayor tweeted back.
Rainbow flags are flying across the country during the Winter Games in Sochi in response to a Russian law that makes it illegal to spread "propaganda for non-traditional sexual relations" to minors.
Watson said the Pride flag sends a message to residents of Ottawa, as well as to the Russian government.
"I think it sends a signal to the Russian government that, in this day and age of respect for human rights, it is a complete throwback to another era — another unacceptable era — that they have this anti-gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender policy and law on the books," he said.
"And it's our way of saying our community supports human rights and supports the dignity of all citizens, regardless of who they are, regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation."
Watson said that boycotting the Olympics entirely would hurt Canadian athletes but suggested that the International Olympic Committee should "be much more thoughtful" when awarding the Games in the future.
Here are the tweets:
@Awesomely11 if you have that point of view, I really don't want your vote.
@Awesomely11 if you have that point of view, I really don't want your vote.— Jim Watson (@JimWatsonOttawa) February 6, 2014