Washington State seeks to outlaw "dwarf-tossing" at bars and strip clubs

The practice of clothing small adults in velcro and tossing them at velcro targets will be banned in bars and strip clubs, if Senate Bill 5486 passes the Washington State legislature.

"No holder of a retail license to sell liquor may allow or permit any contest or promotion or other form of recreational activity involving exploitation that endangers the health, safety and welfare of any person with dwarfism," states the bill. "Any code city may suspend or revoke the business license and impose a fine of up to one thousand dollars per contest or event, for any business that violates this section."

From a press release issued by the office of Sen. Mike Padden and reposted on Washington State Wire:

Dwarf-tossing originated in Australia as a pub promotion and spread to America in the late 1980s. People with dwarfism, wearing special padded clothing or Velcro costumes, are thrown onto mattresses or at Velcro-covered targets. Contestants compete to throw the dwarf the farthest. In 1989, Florida enacted a ban on dwarf-tossing at establishments where liquor is served, and New York followed with a similar ban in 1990.

Advocates for "little people" note that persons with dwarfism are particularly susceptible to spine and neck injuries. While generally opposed to disparate treatment for their community, they say the concern is outweighed by the possibility of injury, the demeaning nature of the activity, and the chance that it might inspire attacks on others. In 2012, a man celebrating his birthday at a pub in England was severely injured when a pubgoer picked him up and threw him – an incident likely inspired by news coverage of dwarf-tossing contests.

Image: Dwarf Toss "Midget Tossing"/Youtube Screenshot