Days after Boston Mayor Thomas Menino sent a letter to Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy saying his restaurant wasn't welcome in his city, he's backtracking completely. "I can't do that. That would be interference to his rights to go there," Menino tells The Boston Herald's Greg Turner, adding rather candidly, "I make mistakes all the time. That's a Menino-ism."
After Chick-fil-A's Cathy ignited a controversy by suggesting that "we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,'" Menino wrote him a widely shared letter stating, "There is no place for discrimination on Boston's Freedom Trail, and no place for your company alongside it." In the days since, law professors and newspaper editors have pointed out that so long as Chick-fil-A pledges to obey all laws—including those against non-discrimination—any attempt to block them based solely on their president's political views is probably a violation of the First Amendment. Menino, it seems, has been convinced, though he's not backing down a bit in condemning Cathy's remarks. So now we wait and see whether the Chicago alderman, who made a similar pledge to prevent Chick-fil-A from coming to his neighborhood, will follow suit.