Dwarf Tossing Ban to Stay, FL Politician Flip-Flops on Jobs Plan

By Andrew Chow, Esq. on April 13, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A Florida lawmaker's far-flung idea to repeal an anti dwarf-tossing law has itself been tossed, thanks to heightened awareness from little people across America.

As this blog explained last fall, Florida State Rep. Ritch Workman proposed a bill to repeal the state's ban on dwarf-tossing, in effect since 1989.

The repeal would have (ostensibly) created jobs for little people who were (supposedly) willing to be picked up and thrown through the air -- or through a door, or a glass window, or down a well -- with adequate protection, of course.

Many little people, and non-little people, were up in arms.

Florida's anti dwarf-tossing law was the result of a hard-fought battle in the 1980s, a spokeswoman for Little People of America, an advocacy group, told The Huffington Post.

The ban put a stop to what many saw as a demeaning "sport," once popular in bars across Florida. The ban gained support after a 27-year-old little person who took part in dwarf-tossing events died of alcohol poisoning in 1989, The Palm Beach Post reported.

As news of Rep. Ritch Workman's repeal effort began to spread, he was contacted by little people from across the country. Stories about their daily struggles -- "to get past that carnival thing from 100 years ago" -- changed his mind, and he "let the bill die," he told Florida Today.

"I find the practice of dwarf-tossing repulsive. I would never go to an event," Workman said.

The push for a repeal, Workman explained, was based upon his belief that any competent adult -- little people included -- should be able to "make their own decision to act like a fool."

The anti dwarf-tossing law victory is "huge," the Little People of America's spokeswoman told HuffPo. "All things considered, this was as big of a fight [as the 1980s], but it shows that a lot of progress has been made."

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