The Obama administration seems to be of two minds in promoting its various foreign policy agendas. On the one hand, the White House has made a high profile attempt to improve relations with the world's Muslims, going out of its way to heap praise on Islam and distance the faith from the radical extremists who are committing acts of terrorism in its name. On the other hand, the administration has been campaigning for international protection of the rights of homosexuals, for example promoting the United Nations Human Rights Council's March 22 statement on "Ending Violence Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity." But homosexuality is strongly frowned upon in the Islamic world, at least officially; none of the Muslim-majority Middle East states joined the 85 countries that signed off on the U.N. statement.
These types of disconnects are common in diplomacy. It is a big world after all and you can't please everyone. But recently the administration set these objectives on a collision course by hosting a pro-gay event in the heart of the Muslim world. The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, held a "Pride Celebration" in late June seeking to raise awareness and promote tolerance for Pakistan's homosexual population. The Embassy web site said that the event "demonstrated continued U.S. Embassy support for human rights, including LGBT rights, in Pakistan at a time when those rights are increasingly under attack from extremist elements throughout Pakistani society."