Stephen Brent Miller, 61, a business owner who was an early supporter of Washington's gay rights movement, died July 18 of complications of AIDS at George Washington University Hospital.

Mr. Miller, who owned Miller Court Reporting Inc., was a behind-the-scenes supporter of the gay rights work of his partner, Paul Kuntzler, friends said. It was in their living room in 1976 that the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club was formed. They both worked in the 1960s with the D.C. Mattachine Society, Washington's first gay activist group, which fought for security clearances from the federal government and against job discrimination.

Mr. Miller and Kuntzler also were founding members of the Human Rights Campaign Fund and what is now the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance. Mr. Miller also recorded oral histories for the Rainbow History Project.

Mr. Miller was a native of Statesville, N.C. He graduated from King's College in Charlotte. He also trained at the former Stenotype Institute of Washington.

He moved to Washington in 1961 to work in the U.S. House of Representatives' document office under the sponsorship of the late Rep. Hugh Alexander (D-N.C.). In 1962, he became a staff member of the House Appropriations Committee.

Mr. Miller was found to be HIV-positive in 1989, but he may have had the virus as early as March 1979, friends said. Over the years, he sought treatment and was able to enjoy an active life for 25 years.

Mr. Miller began work as a stenographic reporter in 1965. Over the next 16 years, he worked for Hoover Reporting Co. and various congressional committees. In 1980, he purchased Hoover and formed Miller Reporting Co., a court reporting and tape-recording transcription service. The company now employs about 50 people and provides services for the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, congressional committees, law firms and television networks.

Mr. Miller traveled the world, and he enjoyed swimming laps in his health club's pool until a few months before his death.

Survivors include his companion of 42 years, Paul Kuntzler of Washington; his mother, Lucille Brawley of Statesville, N.C.; and a sister.

Stephen Brent Miller owned a court reporting and transcription business and was an early supporter of the gay rights movement in Washington.