SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert received an award Wednesday for his efforts in supporting families, specifically for defending marriage as between a man and a woman.

United Families Utah presented Herbert with the Champion of the Family award in his office on Capitol Hill, according to a news release. 

“Healthy marriages and intact families give society a secure foundation and future,” United Families Utah director Laura Bunker said. "We express appreciation to Gov. Gary R. Herbert for protecting the boundaries of marriage and life in Utah."

The Champion of the Family award is given to individuals who have shown "outstanding achievement in their work to defend the family as the fundamental unit of society," according to the release. 

One reason the organization cited for presenting Herbert with the award was a 2009 press conference on Capitol Hill where he expressed his disapproval of same-sex civil unions.

Past recipients of the award include former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.