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Newspaper Cans Editor for Blasting Driver’s License Gender Options


The Burlington Free Press fired its editor Monday night over comments he made about a state plan to add a third gender option to Vermont state driver’s licenses. That’s according to a statement on the paper’s website.

Editor Denis Finley got canned after a Twitter firestorm blew back in the paper’s face. Finley responded this way to the state’s move:  “Awesome! That makes us one step closer to the apocalypse.”

It was one of a series of Tweets that drew immediate blowback from liberals, including former Democratic National Committee chair and former Vermont governor Howard Dean:

However, some of Finley’s former colleagues at other papers came to his defense.

Others were pleased by the move:

The official cause for Finley’s termination was for failing “to adhere to the company’s code of conduct and ethics policy,” which require “overarching values of fairness, balance and objectivity.”

Finley used to be the editor of a different newspaper in Norfolk, Virginia, according to that paper’s coverage of his termination. The Virginian-Pilot reports he worked at that paper for 28 years, serving for ten years as editor. He left to work at a museum for a year before Gannett hired him to work as managing editor of its Burlington, Vermont newspaper.

[Image via screengrab]

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Aaron Keller holds a juris doctor degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a broadcast journalism degree from Syracuse University. He is a former anchor and executive producer for the Law&Crime Network and is now deputy editor-in-chief for the Law&Crime website. DISCLAIMER:  This website is for general informational purposes only. You should not rely on it for legal advice. Reading this site or interacting with the author via this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. This website is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Speak to a competent lawyer in your jurisdiction for legal advice and representation relevant to your situation.