02/07/2014 04:57 EST | Updated 04/09/2014 05:59 EDT

Rainbow flag flies above Montreal City Hall for Sochi Games

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's city hall, Mayor Denis Coderre said that everyone has the right to live as a first-class citizen.

“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.”

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

And 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.