A man is due to be charged with second-degree murder today following the death of a popular gay rights activist.

Raymond Taavel died outside the Menz Bar in Halifax, Nova Scotia in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

CBC News reports today that Andre Noel Denny will appear in court to be charged over Mr Taavel’s death.

Mr Denny reportedly has a history of violence and mental illness.

He had been given an hour’s leave from the East Coast Forensic Hospital in Dartmouth and failed to return.

He was found in a nearby alley and reportedly called him a “faggot”.

One close friend and fellow activist said of Mr Taavel said: ”He was always smiling and he cared deeply about justice and equality and fairness. He had a fierce and independent spirit. For that quality alone, I always admired him…”

He added: “We connected through writing and activism, and there was always an easy, kindred-spiritedness to our friendship. Halifax has lost a great, caring citizen. I’m going to miss him.”

Police have not ruled out the possibility of classifying the attack as a hate crime.