Gov. Mario M. Cuomo signed legislation Tuesday banning dwarf tossing and dwarf bowling in New York bars, calling the activities a "strange diversion."
"Any activity which dehumanizes and humiliates these people is degrading to us all," Cuomo said. "This bill recognizes that and, in effect, declares these bizarre games to be debased."
The bill, similar to one that became law in Florida last year, amounts to a ban because the events have not been popular outside bars. It passed the Legislature with only one dissenting vote.
The law targets taverns, but has no penalties for participants. Bars could loose their liquor licenses.
Dwarf tossing is a competition in which people pick up dwarfs, who are wearing harnesses, and heave them as far as possible at a padded target. It produced an offshoot, dwarf bowling, in which a helmeted dwarf is strapped to a skateboard and rolled into bowling pins. Both have been held as competitions for cash prizes, Cuomo said.
"Dwarf tossing belongs in the Middle Ages, not the modern age," said state Sen. Nicholas Spano, who sponsored the bill.