I thought about this myself a bit. I’m an atheist, and it’s actually still very common for political officials to say things like “we don’t want any stinking atheist businesses in this town” or something similar. It’s been a couple decades now, but I recall when Bush Sr said he didn’t think atheists should be considered American citizens.
I still think mayor Menino did a good thing. For exactly the same reason I think Bush Sr did a bad thing. Bush perpetuated bigotry. Menino is fighting against it. Fighting against bigotry is a GOOD THING. Anyone who does so gets my support. Anyone who attacks someone who is fighting against bigotry gets only my contempt (or, at the least, my disapproval, if that person is a well-meaning but confused friend).
Is the government suddenly not allowed to stop bad things for some reason?
Free speech isn’t being attacked. He isn’t putting anyone in jail, giving any fines, or refusing any permits, no rights have been violated. He’s primarily rallying the power of public opinion. Which is a GOOD use of power in the pursuit of a GOOD goal. Major kudos to him.
Apparently at first he did say he’d use his power to stop Chik-Fil-A from receiving permits. I’m glad he backed away from that route, as that would be abuse and illegal. His public letter is fine, and awesome.