My problem with marriage is that really isn't the viable purpose it once was. It was supposed to protect a man and his wife. Protect from what? I shouldn't even have to explain this one, but part of it is the reason why the woman takes on the last name of the man. It is indeed an ownership issue, along with any offspring involved. This tagged the female to ensure partly that no other man was to interfere.
Gays want to claim that they have the same rights to marry, but in reality, the reason that marriage is not a 'right' is found within law. The same law that prohibits polygamy and many other restrictions before a LICENSE can be legally obtained.
Bottom line is that marriage is not a right. Reason why gays want it is so they can get government benefits and use legal means. What legal means? DIVORCE mainly. Elton John is not married to his partner. This means his partner cannot legally file for divorce. His partner can still attempt to sue him if they decide to part ways. Does this mean he has less leverage than a married couple? Probably not. What about inheritance? If John writes up a will, he can name anyone he wants as a beneficiary. Now US government pensions, Social Security, and some other similar benefits do have clauses that the spouse can benefit under certain circumstances. This is why gays want legal marriage, in order to collect on these.
So what is the right method to solve this problem? Dissolve any government benefits that are given out strictly on the basis of marriage. Do not make marriage illegal, but don't give it preference over singles or non-married couples. De-regulate it and allow marriage to be the ceremony it was meant to be. Marriage doesn't make a couple any happier.