In today’s business environment, non-discrimination policies are used to comply with local, state and federal laws. More importantly, such policies ideally create and maintain an environment that values diversity, respects human dignity, is hospitable, equitable, and tolerant, and in which all persons are free from all forms of discrimination or discriminatory harassment (University of Fullerton). Moonhawk River Stone, M.S. LMHC a psychotherapist, consultant, educator and writer in private practice in the Albany, NY area, says that as we look at societal changes, “We become aware of institutionalized violence and discrimination against various populations, [and] we need to take steps to assure that discrimination is alleviated or eliminated” (Stone, 2008).
In the United States there are currently no federal laws to protect people who do not conform to societies gender norms and standards. Because of this gender non-conformists are at risk of discrimination in housing, employment, health care, education and in other vital areas. In the absence of federal protection some states have added gender identity and gender expression (GI/GE) to their non-discrimination laws. Since roughly 80% of the US lacks state protection for GI/GE some companies and schools have added GI/GE to their policies to explicitly cover their employees and students. Broad, fair-minded policies address the needs not only of transgendered people but of all people who do not conform to the narrow binary gender expectations dictated by society.