Padden bill would ban ‘dwarf-tossing’

January 24, 2019

OLYMPIA – Bars and strip clubs in Washington would be banned from holding “dwarf-tossing” contests under a bill introduced this week by a Spokane Valley legislator.

Wait a minute, you might say. Do bars or strip clubs in Washington do that? Do they dress “little people” up in special gear so people can compete to see how far they can be thrown or how high on a Velcro wall they can be launched and stick?

The Deja Vu Showgirls strip club in the Spokane Valley did one night last October, and a Seattle club sponsored a similar event in August. If Republican Sen. Mike Padden has his way, that will be the last time it or any similar establishment tries what he calls “an offense to our sensibilities.”

He said he was contacted by a constituent, a medical student who has dwarfism, about the incident and the potential harm it can cause.

“There’s nothing funny about dwarf tossing,” Padden said in announcing the bill. “It ridicules and demeans people with dwarfism and causes others to think of them as objects of public amusement.”

Under the bill, which has bipartisan sponsors, a bar or strip club that allows such a contest could lose its business license and face a $1,000 fine. It will get a hearing in the Senate Law and Justice Committee, on which Padden serves as the ranking Republican, next Thursday.

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