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Newspaper editor fired after tweets about 3rd gender

Transgender policy

BURLINGTON, Vt. - The editor of Vermont's largest newspaper has been fired after a series of tweets about a state proposal to add a third gender option to driver licenses.

Gannett, the owner of the Burlington Free Press, said former editor Denis Finley violated the company's social media guidelines.

Finley was criticized after tweeting about the possibility of adding a third gender option on driver's licenses. On Jan. 5, he tweeted : "Awesome! That makes us one step closer to the apocalypse."

Finley's post drew a flurry of responses over Twitter, some of them critical.

In a story published on the newspaper's website Monday evening, the Free Press said Finley had "left the company." Randy Lovely, a USA Today Network vice president, said Finley's tweets failed to adhere to company policies.

"We encourage our journalists to engage in a meaningful dialogue on social media, but it's important that the conversation adhere to our overarching values of fairness, balance and objectivity," Lovely told the paper.

Finley, who spent 28 years at The Virginian-Pilot, was hired to lead the Free Press in 2016 after a nearly year-long search, according to the Free Press.

The Associated Press sought comment from Finley via Twitter and Facebook but did not immediately get a response.

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