On the surface, the Boy Scouts’ recent decision to allow openly-gay youths to join would seem to be a major victory for the gay lobby’s central thesis, that same-sex attraction is no different than opposite-sex attraction. But even if we set aside questions about the Scouts’ religious roots and their implications for homosexuality’s moral standing, the policy change actually demonstrates how little they truly understand their own premise.

Consider some simple facts. The Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts are different organizations. Men and women usually have separate athletic teams and don’t share showers. Male and female college students generally aren’t permitted to be roommates. Until January, female soldiers were barred from front-line combat positions.

For everyone except the fringes of feminism, most of this isn’t controversial. We know that sexual attraction is a powerful force, particularly among the young, and nowhere would there be greater potential for it to manifest in negative ways than forcing boys and girls to sleep, shower, and change clothes in each other’s presence. Temptation is strong enough without sharing such intimate arrangements, and even ignoring the likelihood of sexual activity or harassment, the most moral, well-intentioned teenagers would inevitably suffer significant distraction, distrust, worry, and self-consciousness.

The same holds true when one is attracted to members of his own sex. Even if he won’t act on it, a gay teen will be susceptible to attraction to the teens he’ll share close quarters with. And those teens won’t be able to help but wonder how he sees them, just as they would if it were a girl bunking or showering with them.

But obvious though all this may be, dare to say it and the only thing liberals will hear is homophobia. A recent exchange between radio host Mike Gallagher and Fox News anchor Chris Wallace on Gallagher’s show succinctly demonstrated this. After explaining the above critique perfectly clearly, all Wallace could do was ramble about society becoming “more accepting of gays,” likening it to past prohibitions on interracial marriage and wondering if the Boy Scouts ever had problems integrating white and black scouts.

He repeatedly misconstrued Gallagher as worrying gay scouts would “jump on” straight ones in the tent, sneeringly reiterating it even in the face of Gallagher’s protests. In response to the argument that it’s the same struggle straight teens dealing with raging hormones would face in mixed company, the only brilliant rejoinder Wallace could muster was repeating “I think it’s different,” because straight scouts wouldn’t necessarily know who was gay (conveniently ignoring the “openly” part of the controversy), then throwing up his hands and announcing, “Knock yourself out. I’m done.” In response to a frustrated Gallagher calling him an idiot, Wallace snapped, “you’re so bigoted” and suggested Gallagher would have kept Jackie Robinson out of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

It’s not just that the liberal mind starts from different premises or arrives at different conclusions; there are thoughts and concepts it completely refuses to process. A pre-scripted, emotion-based narrative dictates their every political sensibility, and anything that runs contrary to their feelings about how the world should work is automatically intercepted and switched with one of several ulterior motives that have been predetermined to animate conservatives, such as prejudice, ignorance, or greed, because they’re easier to dismiss without risk of forcing the liberal to reconsider his worldview.

This is especially potent with issues pertaining to sexuality, since liberal dogma holds that personal desire is the only factor (aside from consent) worthy of consideration, and that sexual orientation cannot possibly be treated like a more significant difference than skin or hair color. But while they’ll never acknowledge it, true equality is a two-way street—if homosexuality and heterosexuality deserve the same treatment, then that necessarily entails the same restrictions.