Florida lawmaker hopes to repeal ‘dwarf-tossing’ prohibition

A Florida lawmaker has made headlines around the nation for his proposal to repeal a job destroying regulation in his state, namely the 1989 ban on “dwarf-tossing.”

Republican state Rep. Ritch Workman introduced HB 4063 on Monday. The legislation would repeal provisions against the “exploitation of persons with dwarfism.”

It would allow bars and taverns in the state to hire people with dwarfism, wrap them in velcro or protective padding, and throw them around for the amusement of their customers.

“I’m on a quest to seek and destroy unnecessary burdens on the freedom and liberties of people,” Workman told The Palm Beach Post. “This is an example of Big Brother government.

“All that it does is prevent some dwarfs from getting jobs they would be happy to get,” he added. “In this economy, or any economy, why would we want to prevent people from getting gainful employment?”

Former President of Little People of America, Van Etten, said the crude practice exploited people with dwarfism, particularly alcoholics with low self-esteem. Because of specific health risks associated with dwarfism, “dwarf-tossing” is also very dangerous.

“The possibility of getting paralyzed is high,” David Dodge, Florida district director of the Little People of America, said. “And then to be used as an object for people’s amusement is very degrading.”

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