BECK TAKES AIM AT SEXIST STATUTES

beck-010310-4Republican state Senator Jennifer Beck, left, got a fair amount of media attention over the weekend for her campaign to purge laws of outdated and sexist treatment of women.

The Red Bank legislator, along with state Senator Lorretta Weinberg of Bergen County, was spotlighted Sunday in the same article run by both the Newark Star-Ledger and the Record of Hackensack for proposed legislation that would strike from the books “antiquated and at times demeaning references to women.”

Beck and Weinberg are the co-sponsors of a bill, S2665, that would repeal a half-dozen laws, including one that allows a man arrested for raping a woman to marry her within 72 hours, while all other men and women must wait at least that long.

From the article:

Another law targeted in the bill says a woman forfeits her property rights to her husband if she’s been “ravished, consent to the ravisher” — unless the husband forgives her and allows her to live with him. “That almost sounds like a paragraph out of Jane Eyre,” said Weinberg.

Other laws the bill would repeal were well-intentioned but no longer relevant. The Married Women’s Property Acts, enacted in the 19th century, gave married women legal and property rights they had previously been denied. But they are no longer needed, since the state constitution and anti-discrimination laws guarantee equal protection.

“Having these antiquated laws on the books is not a positive. We should update them to reflect current society,” said Beck.