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Spokane Valley senator behind effort to end 'dwarf tossing' at bars, strip clubs

Sen. Mike Padden said a medical student with dwarfism expressed concerns about a dwarf-tossing content last October at strip club Déjà vu Showgirls.

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — A Spokane Valley senator has introduced a bill that would end "dwarf tossing" contents at bars and strip clubs across Washington state.

Senate Bill 5486, proposed by Republican Sen. Mike Padden, would also ban “any other recreational activity involving exploitation that endangers the health, safety and welfare of any person with dwarfism.”

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

Padden said a medical student with dwarfism expressed concerns about a "dwarf-tossing" contest last October at strip club Déjà vu Showgirls.

RELATED: Spokane Valley strip club under fire over controversial little person event

A KREM story published ahead of the event said the strip club received multiple complaints.

The northwest region marketing director for the strip club franchise said the event was for entertainment. They said the feature act, Mighty Mike, has sold out clubs across the country. His act often includes being tossed.

“There’s nothing funny about dwarf-tossing,” Padden said. “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’s legislation applies to contents and promotions involving adults shorter than 4 feet 10 inches tall.