There's a surprising new twist in the case of Alanna Gallagher, the 6-year-old girl found dead under a tarp in the street last week. Apparently Gallagher's parents are in a polyamorous relationship with another man. Miles McDaniel lived with Karl and Laura Gallagher in what Laura described in a blog post as a polyamorous relationship. He is the biological father of Alanna.
It's an eyebrow-raising bit of news to hear in this case -- but it's probably totally irrelevant. The police say they do not consider the Gallaghers or McDaniel to be prime suspects, and they're trying to be respectful of the non-traditional family arrangement. Saginaw Police Chief Robert Macon says, "The Gallagher/McDaniel family considers Miles as a parent, and we are being considerate of their lifestyle; it's not our place to offer judgment on them." On the other hand, investigators haven't ruled anyone out as suspects, either.
Miles McDaniel has gone on camera to defend his relationship. "Anyone who knows the family knows that there are three parents in the family," he said. "If anyone is interested, Google polyamory."
I think it's easy for people to see a non-traditional family and jump to the conclusion that if people can be "deviant" in their marriage, that must make them more capable of committing a heinous crime. But I think that would be a mistake. It could just mean that Alanna had one more adult in her life who loved her, and who misses her now. A polyamorous relationship is about more love, not about hurting people. It's not something I would choose, but I don't think it makes anyone a less ethical or moral person.
I know a couple who were (still are?) in a polyamorous relationship with another man. They successfully raised two happy, healthy kids. I don't know how it worked, and that's none of my business. But it didn't turn them into criminals.
I do feel badly that the Gallaghers' privacy has been invaded this way, though apparently their relationship was not a secret. Assuming they are not responsible for Alanna's death, this revelation is probably going to open them to more hurt. I hope people can be compassionate and open-minded.
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Do you think the Gallaghers' polyamorous relationship with McDaniel should have anything to do with the case?
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