BALTIMORE (AP) — A federal judge has ruled officials in a Maryland county must issue permits allowing the sale of private townhouses to a group of Muslim buyers, after finding the denial of them was “motivated at least in part by discriminatory intent.”

U.S. District Judge George Russell made the ruling Friday in the Harford County case.

The judge found that “but for the religion of the prospective Muslim purchasers, the county would have granted the sewer, water hookup permits and use and occupancy permits for the 14 homes constructed.”

The judge’s ruling will clear the way for 14 homes to be delivered to the Muslim homebuyers in the Old Trails subdivision in Joppatowne. Old Trails is a community for residents 55 and over.

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