The Family Research Council (FRC) and the Minnesota Family Council will begin a new push next week to ban gay marriage in Minnesota, the Minnesota Independent reported.

The groups' Minnesota Family and Marriage Summit will focus on getting an amendment that defines marriage as a heterosexual union on the ballot in 2012.

“Experts … will discuss the latest state legislative trends on marriage and then family that you need to know,” a flier for the summit reads. “Don't miss this opportunity to get informed so that you can make a difference right where you live!”

FRC senior researcher Peter Sprigg will helm a course titled “What's the harm in same-sex marriage?”

Sprigg's comments on MSNBC's Hardball were cited by the Southern Poverty Law Center as good enough to put the FRC on its list of known hate groups.

In February 2010, Sprigg told host Chris Matthews that “gay behavior” should be criminalized.

In a later interview, FRC President Tony Perkins explained that Sprigg was merely making the point “that in 2003 we were opposed to the overturning of the sodomy laws in the Lawrence vs. Texas case.” The Supreme Court overturned state sodomy laws in Lawrence vs. Texas.

“We have not been, we are not, and we are not going to be working to re-criminalize homosexual behavior,” Perkins added.

The Republican wave that hit much of the nation on November 2 swamped Minnesota, dashing the hopes of gay marriage backers who had high hopes of making Minnesota the next state to legalize the institution, and increasing the likelihood that lawmakers will act on banning gay marriage.