Lawmaker Files Bill to Repeal State Ban on Dwarf Tossing in Bars

State Rep. Ritch Workman says ban on tossing in bars limits employment opportunities for little people

By Mary Beth Wilson
|  Thursday, Oct 6, 2011  |  Updated 12:26 PM EDT
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Florida State Rep. Ritch Workman

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A Florida lawmaker has filed a bill that would repeal a state law prohibiting dwarf tossing in bars.

Rep. Ritch Workman of Melbourne filed House Bill 4063 on Monday.

"To me it's an archaic kind of Big Brother law that says, 'We don't like that activity,'"  Workman told the Florida Current. "Well, there is nothing immoral or illegal about that activity. All we really did by passing that law was take away some employment from some little people."

The cringe-inducing activity was outlawed in 1989, when national controversy over dwarf tossing prompted the Legislature to ban it in bars for safety reasons, the Current reports.

House Bill 4063 would repeal Florida Statute 561.665, which bans establishments who sell alcohol from activities "involving exploitation endangering the health, safety, and welfare of any person with dwarfism."

While at least one previous lawsuit filed by a little person sought to repeal the law for employment reasons, others including the president of Little People of America are opposed to the new bill.

"In general, if HB 4063 does threaten to undo the protection afforded people of short stature against dwarf tossing, we are concerned, and we would be against legislation," said Gary Arnold to the Current. "The ban on dwarf tossing protects the entire dwarf community."

Under the current statute, the state can fine or suspend the liquor license of bars that host dwarf tossing.

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