President Barack Obama's decision to no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) dominated LGBT law in 2011.

In a look at the year that was in legal challenges against anti-gay legislation, gay weekly Metro Weekly's Chris Geidner wrote that the decision “altered the legal landscape.”

The year began with LGBT legal commentators eagerly waiting for a federal appellate court ruling on the constitutionality of Proposition 8, California's 2008 voter-approved gay marriage ban. But 12 months later, legal sidebars have pushed the decision into early 2012.

Instead, Obama's DOMA decision became the big story in 2011.

The decision affected the multiple ongoing legal challenges to the 1996 law – perhaps spurred new lawsuits – led House Speaker John Boehner to take on the law's defense (at an expense of up to $1.5 million), acted as a support for an ongoing Congressional effort to repeal the law, and even gave weight to the notion that Obama personally endorses marriage equality.

(Related: Dan Savage predicts “evolutionary leap” on gay marriage for Obama.)