Marriage has always been about community and religion, in many countries people never bother registering it with the government. In some countries like Canada, common-law partners get the same benefits as married partners.
Personally, I'd be all for doing away with the entire government institution of marriage, and simply have 'civil unions' for all, with each community and religion being able to decide for themselves what 'marriage' means.
At least in Europe, that's pretty much backwards -- marriage has always been about property, and, it was fairly late that the Church even got involved at all, and the Church getting deeply involved in governing marriage was largely a trend that happened as the Church deepened its involvement in government more generally.
In some religions at least marriage signified a bond between two people, and not merely a transfer of property. My views are shaped somewhat by the fact that in Orthodox Christianity (the type I'm most familiar with), marriage isn't a transfer of property, and the bride isn't 'given' from father to husband. It's an equal arrangement. Whereas in Islam and 'western' Christianity the bride is 'given', much like property.
I wasn't talking about women as property, though that's also a factor in some cases (which undermines the whole "traditional marriage" as a good thing argument.) I was talking about marriage being about property arrangements, not the parties being property.
Doing away with government marriages if it was for everyone. At the moment it is important because it has tax benefits and not having it equal makes gay people seem like second class citizens.