Monday, April 16, 2012
Dwarf Tossing Dropped in Fla. After Little People Outrage

Dwarf Tossing Dropped in Fla. After Little People Outrage

A bill banning dwarf tossing was meant to be overturned by Rep. Ritch Workman, but was upheld in a Florida court this week. The law, brought before the court after several instances of little people being drunkenly tossed around in bars, was heralded as a victory for the Little People of America.

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

However, it appears that Workman had a change of heart after hearing from little people all over the country.

"I find the practice of dwarf-tossing repulsive. I would never go to an event. But what I found more repulsive is that in 1980, this state decided that a person of sane mind- a full human with a full human mind- could not make their own decision to act like a fool," Workman told Florida Today.

He has since dropped his proposed repeal of the law, which many are seeing as a victory.

"This is huge," Leah Smith, vice president of communications for Little People of America, told the Huffington Post. "When we got the ban the first time [in 1980], we had a huge fight. All things considered, this was as big of a fight, but it shows that a lot of progress has been made."

The Little People of America group fights for the rights of those who are, in fact, little. They recently spoke out against actresses Rosie O'Donnell and Chelsea Handler when they described their feelings toward little people.

"I'm a little ashamed about it [but] I have a mild fear or anxiety around little people," O'Donnell told Handler. "This is an adult person, a little person … it's so hard for me."

Earlier this year, actor Peter Dinklage made headlines for giving a shoutout to dwarf-tossing victim Martin Henderson during his Golden Globe speech. Reports state that Henderson was left partially paralyzed when a drunken stranger picked him up and threw him.

"I guess I was an easy target, and the only reason I was picked on was because I am small," Henderson told the Daily Mail. "People's attitudes to me when I go out can be pretty cruel. Most are OK but you get the odd idiot who will make fun and start laughing at me. You just have to ignore it, but this is the first time I have been picked up and thrown about," he explained.

For now it seems that Workman has been educated about the plight of little people everywhere.

"They are lawyers, elected officials, and all struggle to get past that carnival thing from 100 years ago," he told Florida Today. He stopped his fight to repeal "not because I'm wrong on the liberty issue, but sometimes human dignity needs to prevail."


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