HOUSTON (AP) — A judge in Houston has denied an emergency request for relief funds by three Texas churches damaged during Hurricane Harvey.

The churches are suing the federal government over its policy of how it offers disaster aid to houses of worship.

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In a ruling issued Thursday, U.S. District Judge Gray Miller denied the churches' motion for a temporary injunction and temporary restraining order. The churches sought the order to access disaster funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The churches accuse FEMA of religious discrimination against houses of worship by denying them equal access to disaster relief grants.

FEMA says it hasn't denied the churches' applications, but rather placed them on hold while a change to its policy is reviewed.

Attorneys for the churches say they plan to appeal the ruling.

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