“I’m returning to duty. The former gay-rights movement has been hijacked by those pushing harmful gender ideology on children. This is an all-hands-on-deck situation.”

— Jeff Cleghorn, veteran gay rights advocate

ADC staff
Art Design Publicity at ADC | 23 May 2023 | Updated 20 February 2024

Above: see Jeff Cleghorn’s fiery 4-minute testimony in the Georgia state senate on February 13, 2024. This was reported on extensively across the US and Canada and in 12 other countries.

About Jeff Cleghorn

Jeff Cleghorn was a vocal gay rights advocate from 1997 through 2003, appearing on national TV news. He represented the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), in Washington, D.C., as a Staff Attorney. In this role, Jeff represented hundreds of military personnel in matters relating to the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law and the U. S. Defense Department’s treatment of its gay and lesbian personnel. His work and advocacy continued into the 2010s.

Jeff has unexpectedly come out of retirement. “I’m returning to duty, and I encourage others from battles past to also reactivate to address this crisis being caused by people using our names,” explains Jeff. “First and foremost, we must address the threat of gender ideology targeting and harming children.” Also, like others, Jeff has deep concern about the growing threat of gender ideology and its impact upon LGB and women’s rights, and other child safeguarding matters.

Jeff is now available for media interviews regarding the worrying impact of today’s gender ideology. He can be contacted via DM on his Twitter account at @jeffcleghornga .

Above, stills of Jeff Cleghorn appearing in news segments on Fox News, CNN and MSNBC between 1997-2003.

Background information

Jeff is a Georgia native, Army veteran, and retired lawyer. A 1984 graduate of North Georgia College in Dahlonega, he received a B.A. in Political Science. Afterwards, Jeff was commissioned as an Army intelligence officer and his military career took him from the DMZ in South Korea, to Checkpoint Charlie in (West) Berlin, to the Pentagon with the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Upon obtaining the rank of Major, Jeff left the Army in 1996 and enrolled in law school at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. In 1999, he began his legal career as Staff Attorney at the Service members Legal Defense Network (SLDN). Along with speaking out in the media, Jeff’s advocacy on behalf of service members included White House and Congressional lobbying and acting as a liaison to senior Pentagon decision-makers.

Additionally, Jeff worked as a consultant to the San Francisco State University’s Palm Center from 2003-05. He also served on SLDN’s Board of Directors from 2007-13.

Jeff is a Past President of Atlanta’s Stonewall Bar Association, and— in 2016—received its Longtime Service to the Community Award. Jeff was also the 2011 recipient of the Human Rights Campaign’s Atlanta Dan Bradley Humanitarian Award. Jeff previously served on the Boards of Directors of AID Atlanta, Georgia Equality, and Lambda Legal (2015-17). His private law practice focused on family law litigation.

Cleghorn’s positions— including via op-eds— have been reported by over 350 media outlets nationally and internationally, including ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, NBC News, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Toronto Star, the Washington Post, and the USA Today network— as well as numerous gay publications.

For media inquiries and speaking requests, contact @jeffcleghornga on Twitter.

To clarify, this statement above can function as a press release for media usage.

Sample media coverage on Cleghorn

2020s - Cleghorn in media

See reporting

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Maya T. Prabhu. (February 15, 2024). Georgia senate panel approves bill to control how private schools address gender [with quote of Jeff Cleghorn; photo included, in foreground, Cleghorn with his head turned]. Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

‘Jeff Cleghorn, a longtime gay rights activist, supported the bill.

He said that while LGBTQ people in the 1990s worked to slowly gain rights by “changing hearts and minds,” transgender people have co-opted the gay rights movement.

"SB 88 is necessary because the former gay rights movement has been hijacked by those pushing this dishonest gender ideology on children," Cleghorn said. "This is about indoctrinating kids into a belief system that is not real."’ (Excerpt from above.)

ABC News

Jeff Amy (AP) (Atlanta). (February 14, 2024). Teaching of gender in Georgia private schools would be regulated under revived Senate bill [with quote of Jeff Cleghorn]. ABC News.

’ "They are proselytizing this queer sex sexuality ideology to children," said Jeff Cleghorn, a former board member of Georgia Equality. "Activists in schools have no business interfering with the parent-child relationship. Do not let schools teach kids to keep secrets from their parents." ’

Fox News

Associated Press (Atlanta). (February 14, 2024). Georgia bill would require private schools to get parents’ approval before “addressing gender identity” issues [with quote of Jeff Cleghorn; photo included, in foreground, Cleghorn with his head turned]. Fox News.

NBC News

Associated Press. (February 14, 2024). Georgia bill would restrict teaching gender in private schools [with quote of Jeff Cleghorn; photo included, in foreground, Cleghorn with his head turned]. NBC News.

Washington Post

Jeff Amy (AP) (Atlanta). (February 14, 2024). Teaching of gender in Georgia private schools would be regulated under revived Senate bill [with quote of Jeff Cleghorn; photo included, in foreground, Cleghorn with his head turned]. Washington Post.

parallel context, New York Times

Pamela Paul. (February 2, 2024). Opinion: As Kids, They Thought They Were Trans. They No Longer Do. New York Times.

Hot Air

David Strom. (June 6, 2024). Gay civil rights attorney [Jeff Cleghorn] comes out fighting for kids. Hot Air.

"What do you do if you spend your entire career standing up for gay civil rights, only to watch the movement get hijacked by an ideological group that wants to upend the basic moral framework of society? ..." (Excerpt from above.)

This section is in development.

2010s - Cleghorn in media

See reporting

This section is in development.

2000s - Cleghorn in media

See reporting

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Jeff Cleghorn

Click to enlarge.

Jeff Cleghorn. (October 13, 2004). Gays’ fight for country equals fight for rights [with portrait photo of Jeff Cleghorn]. Atlanta Journal-Constitution, p. A17.

  • See clipping above.

Chicago Tribune

Jeff Cleghorn

Bonnie Miller Rubin. (May 29, 2004). Gay veterans wage new battle at home; Forced to keep silent in the military, the former GIs have now found their voice, and they seek recognition for their wartime sacrifices [article angled around interview of Jeff Cleghorn]. Chicago Tribune, p. 6.

  • See excerpt above. Search worldcat.org or contact area public library for copy of the full article.

This section is in development.