05/30/2014 11:59 am ET Updated Jul 30, 2014

Why Are Our Tax Dollars Helping Companies Discriminate?

I am on a bit of a rant these days about the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im). Even with the Obama administration about to take a serious (and very welcome) step that will have a major impact on climate change, the folks at Ex-Im still support all kinds of projects overseas that harm the environment, namely coal power plants. See, for example, this great piece "What Century is Ex-Im In?" from Sierra Club. The bank also invests in countries and companies with terrible anti-LGBT policies.

Now there is a major story out about Emirates Airlines, which receives subsidies from Ex-Im and has apparently discriminated against a young woman named Megan Cox on the basis of her past medical history. Cox went through an intensive interview process, and was given a job offer, that was subsequently retracted after the company learned that she had suffered from depression. According to Cox, "I supplied the required report, where my doctor states that I am mentally and physically fit, that I no longer require any medication and that these were isolated cases linked to specific traumatic events."

If this were an American airline, this would be a blatant violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Mental health discrimination runs counter to American values, and taxpayers should not subsidize companies, foreign or domestic, that engage in such practices. Luckily Ms. Cox is getting a lot of press on her case, from The Huffington Post to The Guardian Liberty Voice to the Western Gazette.

Is it too much to ask my environmentally friendly, pro-LGBT rights, pro-civil rights friends in the Obama White House to ask their appointees at Ex-Im to have some regard for these values when they are doing their work at the agency?