Rainbow flag flies above Montreal City Hall for Sochi Games

Mayor Denis Coderre says his role is to send a message and stand in solidarity with Russia's LGBT community.

Laval, Montreal, Quebec City and other cities quietly stand in solidarity with Russia's LGBT community

Montreal city hall flies the rainbow flag in protest of Russia's anti-gay propaganda laws. 0:32

Quebec’s major cities are flying the rainbow flag in protest of Russia’s anti-gay propaganda laws, as the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi get underway.

Standing in front of Montreal City Hall, Mayor Denis Coderre said that everyone has the right to live as a first-class citizen.
Montreal's Olympic Stadium will sequentially flash the colours of the rainbow, or gay pride, flag, for the duration of the Sochi Games. (CBC)

“My role as a mayor, my role as a public figure is to send a message,” Coderre said.

“Today we are all Russian for all those people who are suffering right now, and we show our solidarity.”

Coderre was inspired by the city of St. John's, Nfld., whose mayor announced earlier this week the rainbow flag would hang at city hall.

Since then, other cities have followed suit, including Ottawa and Toronto.

The rainbow flag, an emblem of the LGBT community, is also hoisted in front of Laval’s city hall and in Quebec City.

Montreal's Olympic Park has also been lit up in rainbow colours for the duration of the Sochi Games.

The general director of the Quebec LGBT Council, Steve Foster, said he was proud to see so many cities in Quebec standing in solidarity.

“To have a mayor … who makes this decision to support the LGBT communities, we are very satisfied, we are very happy,” Foster said.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson tweeted this picture outside Ottawa City Hall on Feb. 6. (Jim Watson)