Dwarf Tossing Will Remain Illegal In Florida

DaveTheDwarfFloodFlorida Rep. Ritch Workman (R) was on a crusade of sorts. Since 1980, Florida law has banned "dwarf-tossing" — the practice in which liquored-up humans of ordinary stature toss about humans of smaller stature for the pure, drunken hell of it. It was an afront to the freedom of the diminutive, said Workman. Smallfolk, like bigfolk and mediumfolk, should have the freedom to be tossed if they damned well want to be.

But Workman's giving up the fight, reports HuffPo:

After the repeal effort was reported, Workman said he was contacted by little people from all over America who asked him to reconsider.

"They are lawyers, elected officials and all struggle to get past that carnival thing from 100 year ago," he told Florida Today. "I had a doctor, a lovely woman from New York, call me and say, 'Has anyone ever stopped you on the street and hugged you? Rubbed your head? Taken pictures of you? I said, 'No.'"

"She said, 'Well, I'm a doctor, and people think I'm some sort of circus clown," he continued. "And although I agree that I should have the right to be tossed in a bar if I want to, can you please stop talking about this?'

At that point, Workman decided to stop fighting for the repeal, adding, "Not because I'm wrong on the liberty issue, but sometimes human dignity needs to prevail."

HuffPo proceeds to mention several advocacy groups and individuals who are relieved that Workman's dropped the repeal effort, and ends with a quote from Dave "The Dwarf" Flood (pictured above), an entertainer and radio personality who feels rather differently. Dave's been tossed before, as part of his work:

If I was 7 feet tall, I'd be playing basketball … Being short gives me an advantage in dwarf tossing. I'm just playing the hand that's been dealt me.


  1. ratbastard says

    Little people should be legally allowed to engage in dwarf tossing if they want. Pure BS by control freaks. And by a few ‘leaders’ in their community looking for power, etc., I sympathize with little people and the attitudes some ‘normal’ sized and large/tall people have regarding the ‘circus freak’ aspect, but hey, humans judge by appearances. Simple fact. I’m judged by my appearance and everybody else is. One friend is a big ‘mean’ looking guy, but he’s actually one of the nicest people you’d ever meet, but he’s judged by his appearance which he can’t help. An acquaintance from my teenage years was angelic, alter boy/boy scout looking. He was in fact a complete ahole. I remember someone’s mother saying ‘Oh, so-and-so looks like a nice boy’, because ya, he looked like a nice boy, but he wasn’t.

    Granted, some people have it worse than others, like little people [at least as far as having to prove themselves or being considered ‘freakish’], and even just, plain ‘ugly’, unattractive people. I’m not ‘ugly’, but I’m sure it’s a burden, maybe especially if you’re gay. In many respects the gay ‘community’ or subculture is a hyper version of the often shallow, superficial larger society and culture. But what are you going to do? Keep on adding to the ‘oppressed’ list of ‘victims’ who get special, above and beyond rights? People need to learn to cope with life’s circumstances and buck up.

  2. Chadd says

    @ RATBASTARD: I believe that the purpose of the law is to prevent dwarfs from being tossed WITHOUT their consent, which is in effect physical assault. The law just defines it as such. I doubt that purpose of the law was directed at dwarfs to surpress a natural desire to be tossed around by average height persons.

    Yes, people are unfairly judged by their looks, but this is not a case of “adding to the oppressed list of victims” who get special rights. This is a law to prevent the physical assault on little people who are bullied, often physically, because of their stature. Surely even you can support a law that defines a type of physical assault.

  3. anon says

    No, the law precludes tossing dwarfs even with their consent. It’s not clear if you could toss “regular” sized humans–I suppose you could. In essence, dwarfs are “incapable” of giving consent under the law, much like children. Technically, it would be considered a “vice” along with prostitution and gambling, to hire a dwarf for a tossing game.

  4. Angela Channing says

    Years ago, I was with a boyfriend at the Maryland State Fair and there was a “Meet the World’s Smallest Woman” show. He really wanted to meet her and I was really torn about it. We walked into the trailer where she was sitting in a living room scaled to her size. She was quite guarded from all of the dopey questions, I am sure. Trying to put the awkwardness behind me, I asked her if she was enjoying the Baltimore area and if she had tried a crab cake, a local favorite. I then gave her a run down of places to visit if she had the time. She seemed to be more engaged not answering questions about herself. Anyway, part of me felt that this was how she was making her living and I should not “boycott” because I felt it was awkward. But part of me felt embarrassed that she did not have the opportunity to be a teacher, manager, IT programmer, you name it, like the rest of us.

    While it is not the same as the tossing, I still have the same mixed feelings. My boyfriend then suggested that perhaps she made much more money doing that and pointed out that the little people in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular made terrific money for 4 months of work. Thank you for listening.

  5. Michaelandfred says

    Seems a bit like saying they can’t play “dwarfs” in movies or be clowns in the circus or anything else that may “seem demeaning”. This sounds to me like a group has lobbied to prevent little people from allowing themselves to be tossed because it stigmatizes other little people….. As someone mentioned, it’s like banning drag queens because some gays feel it makes “them” look bad.

    I wonder if there is a “stunt dwarf” clause for the movies… Seems a silly piece of legislation. Don’t want to get tossed? Then don’t join the competition. Don’t want to toss a little person, again, don’t. But why stop those who want to or that can make a living at it. Think cleaning hotel toilets is a joy? Or being a garbage man or working in a coal mine?

  6. Tony says

    I do believe the same human rights that apply to average size people apply to dwarfs, but is this like a hate crime law against dwarfs specifically?

  7. jack says

    It seems to me that this is one of the many areas in which there is no need for government regulations. The government should regulate the behavior of consenting adults as rarely as possible. There are many things that consenting adults do that many of us don’t like. So don’t do them, but mind your own business.

  8. Rob says

    I don’t know if it’s part of the syndrome, but men affected by dwarfism tend to be very masculine. And if you ever see them naked, you can tell that it is only a long bone disorder- their, well, soft tissues grow normally. Tossing them may not be right, but taking a tumble with them is downright enjoyable.

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