Senate bill would ban dwarf-tossing at bars in Wash. state

    Washington Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

    OLYMPIA, Wash. - Dwarf-tossing contests would be banned in Washington state under a bill sponsored by State Sen. Mike Padden (R-Spokane Valley).

    Senate Bill 5846 would ban dwarf-tossing at bars and strip clubs and end the activity, which Padden says demeans and exploits those of smaller stature.

    The bill would also ban other recreational activity that endangers the health, safety and welfare of any person with dwarfism.

    Padden said he became interested when someone made him aware of a dwarf-tossing contest last October at a strip club in Spokane Valley.

    “There’s nothing funny about dwarf-tossing,” Padden said.

    People who are advocates for “little people” note that persons with dwarfism are particularly susceptible to spine and neck injuries.

    “It ridicules and demeans people with dwarfism, and causes others to think of them as objects of public amusement. Even when participants are willing, it exposes them to the possibility of lifetime spinal injury. Dwarf-tossing is an offense to our sensibilities,” Padden added.

    Padden’s legislation applies to contests and promotions involving adults shorter than 4-feet-10-inches in height.

    A hearing on the bill is set for 10 a.m. Jan. 31 before the Senate Law and Justice Committee.

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