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IPFS News Link • France

Self-Ownership Is for All Shapes and Sizes

•, Bill Wirtz

The Curious Dwarf-Throwing Case 

In October 1991, in a municipality of about 90,000 inhabitants, ten miles south of Paris, the mayor was objecting to a recurring practice of the town. Travelers had brought a dwarf-throwing event back into town, in which dwarves would be thrown for the amusement of the population. For those taking offense, it needs to be noted that the choice of the word "dwarf" is deliberate, the individuals themselves insisted on this terminology, mostly for reasons of spectacle. The mayor of Morsang-sur-Orge banned the practice in this municipality, declaring the conduct disorderly and inappropriate.

He was confirmed by a decision of the Conseil d'Etat, France's highest administrative court. Much to the upset of the said dwarves, the court ruled in 1995 that the practice was "against human dignity." Even though the events had taken place with notable security measures, consensually and for remuneration, the Conseil d'Etat assessed that it was its role to protect the dignity of the "physically handicapped."